Thankfulness is not something we hear a lot about nowadays. It seems like there’s more negative statements coming from people’s mouths than positive. Of course I’m just stating an opinion. I know there are those people out there that always see the glass half full, but there seems to be a lot of half empties as well. This just bothers me and I’m part of the problem as well. We live in a country that has a lot to be thankful for. Yes, there’s definitely issues but truth be told, we all have something or someone to be thankful for. If nothing else, show gratitude for the fact that you’re still breathing. If you’re alive, you have reason to be thankful. You get another chance for God to show you His ways and overcome anything that would stifle your relationship with Him and others. You get that chance for the circumstances to change for the better. All it takes is a different viewpoint.
In the book of James, he talks to us a little bit about this issue we all deal with. He explains to us how our literal tongues have so much control over the direction of our lives. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! (James 3:10 NLT) We have one tongue, yet it takes different stances! Obviously people were dealing with the same human problems way back then as we are now. Communication has changed. Motivation has changed. Transportation has changed. But humanity will never change! We live in a broken world. But Jesus has called us to be in the world, not of it. He wants His people to talk differently. He wants us to give thanks in all circumstances. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. (John 15:19 NIV) This is certainly where the conflict lies. Jesus knew things would be tough on His followers. So there’s a lot of complaints. But if Jesus is for us, is there really that much to complain about? What, actually, can this world do to us?
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2 NLT) This is getting to the heart of the matter. We’re often conflicted because we belong to Jesus and still want what the world says we should want. We have a tendency to think the way the world says we should think. And this is contrary to what God thinks. Now we’re getting somewhere. If we’re living for ourselves, nothing will ever be good enough. If we let The Lord change our thinking, He will always be enough. He wants to show us a different way. Same life. Two different perspectives.
People can tell a lot about us by what we say. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. (Luke 6:45 NLT) Your life portrays your heart condition. Your thoughts, your actions, your relationships etc. Why is this so important you might ask? But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7 NLT) Ahh! Now you see. God looks on the inside. That’s what He’s interested in. His goal is to make us look more like Jesus. We can dress up, act right and say all the right things. We can certainly manipulate people but we cannot manipulate God.
He wants you to experience all that He has for you. He wants to walk with you through this life and show you the good parts. He knows life isn’t easy but He’s got nothing but good intentions towards you. There’s a lot of things we exhaust our energy on and come up empty. You will never come up empty with God. Thank Him for all He’s done for you and ask Him to help you see the blessings in your life. You’ll begin to smile and not be able to do anything but be grateful. It’s all a matter of the heart.
Today’s writer is Brandi Crowe. A hairdresser for over 25 years, she is currently the owner of Brandi Crowe salon in Buford, GA. She loves hiking, a good cup of coffee and spending time with family and friends. Brandi lives in a custom farmhouse with her husband, Robby and cat, Harold.