There are lots of things we can be thankful for this 2018.
There’s always something to thank God for. Always.
But the moment I say that, I know that there will be those who will say, “What about this failure? How about the unanswered prayer? My mom has cancer! How can I be thankful when my parents are not together?”
Here is something I’ve realized:
“Gratefulness is a posture of the heart more than the result of our circumstances.”
Reason? If my gratefulness is based on circumstances, then it will change from day to day because not every situation is the same. I have good days and I have bad days.
In Luke 17, Jesus healed the 10 lepers. They were considered outcasts because they had leprosy. The moment they had it, they were instructed to go out the city gates so that they don’t contaminate the rest of the community. And every time they would be near people, they have to shout, “Unclean! unclean!” to warn people that they are there.
They cried out for mercy and asked Jesus to heal them. And Jesus did. They were told to go and show themselves to the priests for they would be the ones who could certify if they had been cleared.
As they were on their way to the priests, they were healed. It was an act of faith on their part. Obedience actually is exactly that – an act of faith. Obedience is difficult. It goes against the grain of our nature. If it was easy, then everyone would do it.
But when one of the ten realized he was healed, he went back to give thanks to Jesus.
As we end this 2018, allow me to suggest three points of application.
1. Cultivate a lifestyle of gratefulness.
There is always something to thank God for. Always.
We can always think of something to grumble about. But a grateful heart is the antidote to a grumbling heart.
Recently, I started going back to writing on a paper journal as compared to journaling on my Evernote. I would endeavor to write at least 3 things to thank God for each morning. It helps me to reflect the events the past 24 hours and helps me cultivate a grateful heart. I’ve observed that though I just target writing 3, I end up writing much more than that.
Try it out.
2. Articulate your gratefulness every opportunity you get.
Look for at least one person each day to say thank you to. You’ll see that it does your soul well when you articulate thanksgiving.
You can articulate it by telling them face to face or you can even do it by sending a message via SMS or an online platform.
3. Worship God no matter what.
There will always be things that you wish happened that didn’t. There are events that you wish that didn’t happen but they did. Paul encourages us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to give thanks IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES. We are not to give thanks FOR all circumstances but to give thanks IN all circumstances.
Happy New Year everyone!