It sort of amazes me that “Black Friday”, the day America loses it’s mind over cheap stuff we don’t really need, falls on the day that immediately follows Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is a profound day.
Not exactly because of Turkey or stuffing or cranberry sauce that most of honestly detest…
Thanksgiving is important because redirects our hearts and minds.
We take this so seriously, that as we pastor our kid’s hearts we’ve made “having a grateful heart” one of the most significant points of emphasis in our home. When our kids complain, they’re immediate met with the question, “Are you having a grateful heart?”
There’s power in a grateful heart.
#1 – A grateful heart reshapes difficult moments.
You may not like it, but you’re going to face difficulty in life.
When we face difficulty, we don’t have to be dragged down in the midst of it. The Scriptures describe for us a joy that transcends difficult moments and trying times.
The secret lies in how our heart shapes our current situation.
There’s ALWAYS something to be grateful for, and in the midst of difficult situations a grateful heart elevates those things above the difficult things. This reshaping of our context allows us to view difficulty through a new perspective.
This is how cancer patients find a purpose in living their faith out in front of their family and friends. This is how grieving families find hope in a promised eternity with Jesus and our loved ones. This is how those who are hurting find purpose in the pain.
This is how Job, in the middle of great pain and loss, could say, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him” (Job 13:15).
A grateful heart unlocks a better perspective to live from.
#2 – A grateful heart erodes anxiety, worry, and fear.
Anxiety and worry are born out of fear. Fear looks at our circumstances and predicts the worst outcomes.
Many of us struggle with fear. It’s a significant tool the enemy uses to derail the work of God in our lives, because when we embrace fear, we begin to reject faith.
Faith always looks at the evidence in our current circumstance and responds with a resilient belief that “God can.”
Faith is described to us in the Scriptures as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
A grateful heart looks at our current circumstances, and when there is room for doubt, it instead chooses thankfulness.
Thankfulness reminds us of something that’s important: We’ve needed God before, and He showed up in a powerful way to take care of us.
That redirection erodes anxiety, worry, and fear’s capacity to grow in our hearts.
#3 – A grateful heart opens us to richer relationship with Jesus.
Imagine giving your kids amazing gifts day after day, and the imagine that they NEVER said “Thank You” or expressed any sort of gratitude.
What would that do your connection with them?
Now imagine that your kids looked for ways to say “Thank You” and express gratitude for EVERYTHING you do for them, every day, in every way possible…
Would that change things in your relationship with them?
A grateful heart reorients us to Jesus, and allows us to be more focused on what He is doing in our lives.
When that happens, everything changes!
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What needs to change for you to live with a more grateful heart?