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The Gratitude Challenge!

Photo by Neven Krcmarek on Unsplash

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thess. 5:18

Gratitude is a habit I must consciously cultivate. It is is a choice. It is also a command! Meaning – it is not optional for believers in Christ. I choose to stop focusing on problems and bad things. I choose to focus on good things. I do this because God commands me to do it and I love to obey Him. His commands are always given to bless me and benefit me.

  • Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phil. 4:8

Interestingly, as I choose to take my thoughts captive for Christ and think on the good things, God changes me. He begins to make me more like Jesus. He begins to transform my heart and mind. The more this happens, the more clearly I can hear Him and discern His will. What I think about matters much more than I could possibly express. This is our spiritual battlefield!

  • Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Rom. 12:2

When I focus on thanksgiving and on the good things in my life and the good things about God – my perspective changes.  God’s Spirit feels at home in my life, and I am filled up more and more with Him and His goodness. My faith increases. My joy skyrockets. My peace multiplies. I find myself experiencing God’s amazing love for other people in ways I never have before.

Once I am in right relationship with the Lord and my heart is filled up with Him, His goodness spills out into my relationships with other people. He often begins to change my perspective and the way I respond to others. In time, my change may be God’s tool to encourage other people to change and heal in Christ, too.

Thankfulness and contentment go hand in hand.

I can’t be content if I am focusing on everything that is wrong in life or in other people. The more I focus on yucky things, aggravating things, frustrating things, complaining, arguing, and trying to force my way, the more miserable and discontent I will be. And the more miserable everyone around me will be. Satan LOVES it when I think about awful things. I open the door to him in my life when I think about the things he wants me to dwell on that will hurt me.

But when I am thankful for things – the good things and even the trials – knowing God will use all things for my ultimate good and His ultimate glory (Rom. 8:28-29), my whole perspective shifts. I open the door to Christ. When He is welcome and my heart is right, He opens the floodgates of heaven in my life to provide for what He knows I need to accomplish His perfect will.

When I am thankful, I trust God more. I rest in His love and provision. When I trust God, I am drawing near to Him. And the closer I am to Him, the more the fruit of the Spirit will be evident in my life. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23).

What I think about is what spills out of my mouth and life.

THE CHALLENGE

I want to challenge you to think of 10 things for which you are thankful today about:

  • Your husband.
  • Each of your children if you have any.

You are welcome to write down more things. But I would encourage you to do at least ten for each person. If you really have trouble coming up with ten, just continue to think about it through the day and add to your list as you can.

If you have been on this journey for awhile, you may be able to come up with twenty things for each person. 🙂 The more you practice appreciating the good things, the easier it is to see the good things and the more you will notice.

Perhaps this would be a wonderful daily or weekly habit. Or you may just want to keep a notebook handy (or the notes on your phone) so that you are looking for things to be grateful for all the time. Just keep adding to your list every day. You can have separate lists, if you like. One for each family member and one for other blessings in your life.

PRAY WITH ME

Lord,

We are so very thankful for You. For Your ability and willingness to create the universe and each of us. You have given us life, morals, our senses, relationships, marriage, and family. You have given us Jesus and Your powerful Word and the gift of Your Spirit. Thank You for our husbands and children. Thank You for our extended families. Thank You for our blessings and trials. Thank You for Your sovereignty and goodness. Please help us develop the critical godly habit of gratitude and contentment. We invite Your Spirit into our hearts to transform us and make us more and more like Jesus.

Amen!

SHARE

What are some things about your family members for which you are thankful? You are most welcome to share in the comments.

Note – If reading about things other women are thankful for tempts you to feel jealous, skip the comments and focus on writing down the things you are thankful for in your own life. <3 Each list will be a bit different, and that is okay!

RELATED

Verses about THANKFULNESS

Verses about CONTENTMENT

How Satan Would Love to Destroy Your Marriage Through Your Thought Life

My Demon – how we can be tempted into bitter, accusatory, critical thoughts by the enemy

Taking Our Thoughts Captive for Christ – VIDEO

A Heart of Thanksgiving and Praise– VIDEO

How to Have a Saving Relationship with Christ

 

 

 

8 thoughts on “The Gratitude Challenge!

  1. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for your commitment to Christ, your books and your blogs. I just got a copy of the “Peaceful Mom” and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I will need to read it slowly over and over again to draw as much out of it as I can. I especially love the section on skewed beliefs.

    Continue to walk with Christ. He’s doing amazing things in you and through you.

    1. Nikki,

      I’m so thankful that The Peaceful Mom is a blessing to you already. I know I will go back to it many times, myself, for reminders. I sure wish I had that section on skewed thinking about 25 years ago!

      Thank you for the encouragement, my sweet sister.

      I can’t wait to see all that the Lord will do in your life for His glory!

  2. 10 Things I’m thankful for:
    1. My husband
    2. My job
    3. God’s grace and mercy
    4. God’s Word
    5. The armor of God
    6. My parents
    7. My siblings
    8. My rabbit – Bunny.
    9. Our house
    10. Flowers

    Thanks for this article! It really blessed me to list my “thank you’s”. I’m also thankful for you April. You are a wonderful mentor to me. 🙂

  3. Thank you April for this post. With everyday life this is really important. I work in the ER at a hospital and I can tell you I see alot of deaths, people who are struggling with addiction and young teenagers who are dealing with alot and it breaks my heart. I have to say I’m very grateful for a god who is forgiving and patient, I stumble alot and have many family issues but we are healthy and alive!

  4. Ten things I am thankful in regards to my husband:
    1. That he loves me
    2. That he always wants to make me laugh
    3. That he is patient with and quick to forgive my temper and all the times I want to resort to me a controlling wife
    4. That he gets along so well with my mom
    5. That he is not obsessed with sports
    6. That we share a lot of the same hobbies
    7. That he is always supportive of the hobbies that I take part in that are not interesting to him
    8. That he never minds when I need my girls or girl time
    9. That on our second date (before I knew the Lord), he took me to church. God used him greatly to bring me to his feet
    10. That he likes to cuddle
    11. That he is always willing to try to please me or improve on things.

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