As we’re headed into November and Thanksgiving, I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude. Gratitude and thanksgiving are so important for your soul. It is not just what God wants from you; it is what God wants for you.
Gratitude has been called the “memory of the heart.” Praise and gratitude bring up pictures in our minds that say, “Remember when…”
Isn’t that what Jesus did in the last 12 hours of His life as He broke the bread and passed the cup? “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, after the supper, he took the cup…” Remember. Give thanks.
David invites us to, “magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together” (Psalm 34:3 NASB). When we praise and thank God, we magnify Him—make Him easier to see.
A thankful heart opens the windows of heaven that allow us to peek at glory moments all around.
Foretastes of our heavenly home that revive our hope and make us hungry for more of Him.
Why does God want us to give thanks and punctuate all of life with gratitude? God knows that gratitude gives birth to joy. Again, it is not what God wants from you, but what God wants for you.
Thanksgiving in “all things” squeezes difficult circumstances until joy oozes out of us. Fruit, if it had a say in the matter, would not like the squeezing, but it is the only way to get the sweet juice past the tough dimpled skin to the outside. Otherwise it would stay locked away until the fruit shriveled up and died.
Perhaps your relationship with God has come to the plateau of routine, passionless religion—as if your faith is stuck on the sandbar of mediocrity when it is truly meant to sail the seas of the joyful life.
So what will lift your boat? What will get the joyless you “unstuck?” I suggest the language of a grateful heart will swell the tide to lift your soul from the sandbar and loosen you from the hold of the sucking muck below. Give it a try. Jonah showed us the way out of the belly of the whale is praise. Click & Tweet!
When I feel distant from God, gratitude and praise is often the ramp to get me back on the right road.
When I have strayed from acknowledging His presence, when I have forgotten in him we live and move and have our being, when I have made me big and God small, gratitude leads me back to right relationship with Him.
And then I wonder why I ever would be so careless as to drift away in the first place.
Do you long to feel close to God but feel like there’s something missing? That you’ve missed that mysterious formula to make it happen? Do you have a glory ache—a persistent longing to experience God’s presence and working in your life, but you’re not quite sure how to make it happen? If so, my book, A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More, is just for you. Join me in discovering how to erase the lines between the secular and the sacred and experience a deeper, more intimate relationship with God than ever before. A life that is filled with joy.
Hi Sharon – I always enjoy your timely posts! You are a blessing – thank you!
Sharon … God times your messages well. I have so much to be thankful and grateful for yet my heart feels like it is hidden behind a stone wall. Today’s message reminded me to not give up, to continue to give God my thanksgiving and praise in all situations. God bless.
Good morning Sis Jaynes,
thank you so much for this word. I was just talking to the Lord about more Joy in my life. I am a single saved woman with a son and 3 grandchildren who give me great joy. It just seems like there is something missing. Please Keep me in prayer.
Thanksgiving was never my holiday, not that I wasn’t thankful for things. I have decided to be grateful no matter what and I plan to write stories in November to reflect that.
Thank you for this message of Joy and Thanksgiving. It is so timely, not because we are almost in the month of November, but because we live in such a depraved, sinful culture that the news and drpravity all around us is depressing and a way Satan attempts to steal our joy. Paul tells us to think on
whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report….If there be any honor if there be any praise, think on these things. When we do, we fill our minds with lovely honorable, good and truthful things that squeeze out fear and anxiety. And in doing so we can see the many blessings that are ours. It has taken me a long lifetime to practice this…… although I have known it much of my life. Freedom in Christ means the ability to let go and give God our anxiety and fears and just trust Him. He wants us to invite Him in to the innermost part of our being….. our hearts we will have fellowship with him in an ongoing fashion, Constant dialogue with the Master. It is what I am seeing daily in my Bible reading, Bible Study and what I hear you saying as well as so many other godly people who are hearing from the Holy Spirit. I encourage women of every age to fill her heart with the word of God and block out all of the negative reports we here on television and through multiple media. We are to be as gentle as doves that is wise as serpents. We must dwell in The secret place of the most
High God. There is only one source of Truth and His name is Jesus, The Way, The Truth and The Life.
Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us, Sharon Jaynes. What a blessing.
Thanksgiving is going to be hard for me this year because I won’t get to see my children or grandchildren because of a family rift between us. BUT after reading your blog and hearing the words of my savior Jesus “In him I live and move and have my being” gives me the hope to move forward.