Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever. – 1 Chronicles 16:34
Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
Yesterday, deep into a series of difficult tasks, I decided to take a walk in the rain. Boots on, umbrella up.
I took some deep breaths of the fresh (44-degrees) air, opened up a line of communication with God, and reminded myself of my blessings. One by one. Bottom line: life is good.
Gratitude is not just a good idea leading up to the Thanksgiving celebration, it is a spiritual power tool that can be cultivated as a state of mind, a state of spirit, a state of being. And when I say “cultivated” I mean that we can choose gratitude as an orientation and then be intentional about pushing it to the front of our minds.
We can chose our frame of reference:
Remember “Singing in the rain”? Attitude can be – or become – a habit just like anything else. Bitterness is without doubt a habitual framework; a sour disposition most certainly is too; anger, cynicism, and looking for the negative absolutely become de facto, programed, reflexive responses.
My question is why would we allow other people the power to shape who we are and what we are feeling when, instead, we have the means within us to choose something beautiful? Why allow the news, circumstances, angry people, those pushing negative viewpoints, uptight legalists, manipulative politicians, and the like to force us into a negative mindset?
What works about a positive spirit is that it does not deny what is difficult and troubling in this world – it just refuses to be regulated by the negative.
This is an extension, really, of yesterday’s post about “benediction.”
We speak blessing into this world. We can also speak gratitude, and the power of a thankful heart.
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.