I remember when it struck me like a bolt of lightening—that my degree of satisfaction was directly related to my degree of thankfulness. When I’m not thankful, I’m never satisfied. I think I’ve always believed thankfulness was more of a reaction to the good things in life; but, in fact, it is a state of mind.
Thankfulness is a discipline—like eating well or working out.
If thankfulness were just a natural reaction to good things, then why are so many rich, successful, or beautiful people—dissatisfied? Shouldn’t they be the most contented people on earth? The fact is, when our source of satisfaction is anything less than God, our thankfulness is very temporal because we are NEVER completely satisfied.
But when our satisfaction is found in God, then His abundance of—spiritual and physical blessings—are SOUL satisfying. But, our nature is so fickle that we must also discipline our minds to be thankful. We must affirmatively and deliberately practice it like we would any good habit or new skill.
God’s Word encourages us to ALWAYS give thanks! Paul the Apostle wrote: “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:15-17, 20)
Thankfulness is as much a verb as it is a state of being.
Sure, our heart can overflow with thankfulness when God rains His blessings upon us; however, if we do not PRACTICE thankfulness—even when times are tough—then the emotion of thankfulness fades with the advent of life’s trouble and we become dissatisfied.
The Psalmist reminded us to “forget not all His benefits” and then went on to affirmatively list the blessings of God. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s…The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love…He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him.” (excerpts from Psalms 103) Even our only exercise in thankfulness was to daily reflect on the list of blessings in this Psalm, we would find great reason to be satisfied. But, we can add to this list the abundance of other blessings God has given us and—our satisfaction will overflow.
When make it a habit to count our blessings we find we lack absolutely nothing!
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