Posted by: bellissimanh | October 8, 2007

An Attitude of Gratitude

Many of you know I’ve been struggling with a decision regarding my hours at work. I have been anxious about the choice before me, and though my heart wants one thing, I want to be sure that it’s the same thing that God wants for me. I have felt no peace about this situation… but I also know that sometimes God calls us to do things that we don’t like, and we won’t always feel warm and fuzzy about His call. So it’s a tough line to walk. 

This post isn’t really about what God wants me to do in this situation, though. That may be the underlying cause of the state my spirit is in, but my goal for today is to experience relief from the anxiety, and to rest in His arms. I need peace.

A dear friend shared some verses with me the other day. She quoted a bit of one, and the other in it’s entirety.

“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body, and be thankful.”  Colossians 3:15

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7

Isn’t it amazing how we can look at a passage over and over, even have it memorized… and yet when the Lord leads us to it at just the right moment (often with the help of a sweet friend), it speaks volumes to our soul and becomes a healing balm. We are able to view it in a whole new light and as it’s truth washes over us anew, we are changed. Transformed.

As I went back and looked at these verses in context, I realized something that both passages held in common… something uniquely tied to my ability to experience peace. Do you see it? It’s thankfulness!  

The Greek word for thankful in these verses  is “eucharistos,” and it carries the following connotations:

  1. mindful of favours, grateful, thankful
  2. pleasing, agreeable
  3. acceptable to others, winning, liberal, beneficent

Hmmmmmm. Can’t really say that describes my attitude as of late. The correlation is becoming abundantly clear to me. If I could spend less time complaining and worrying, and more time looking at the favor and blessings the Lord has bestowed upon me…. maybe I could find that elusive peace.

The word is a present imperative, meaning it’s to be a habitual practice.  It literally means, “Keep on becoming thankful.”  At least there’s some relief in that… it’s a process! Now that makes me thankful! He doesn’t expect me to get it all at once… that’s good. But still, He does expect me to keep cultivating this heart of thankfulness, and it’s for my own good. Gratitude to God is a fertile source of peace!

Thomas A Kempis wrote that “All men desire peace, but very few desire those things that make for peace.”

Why is it so hard to be thankful? Some days I am immensely grateful for all of the things God has done for me. If I were to think about it, I am always grateful. How could I not be? But maybe the problem is that I don’t think of it often enough.  My eyes are drawn to my circumstances and the current struggles, and from the Savior who has given me so much to be thankful for. It’s time to gain some perspective, and I truly believe that as I focus on being thankful, peace will follow. Won’t you join me?

A PSALM OF THANKSGIVING
Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands!
Serve the LORD with gladness,
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the LORD, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the LORD is good;
His mercy is everlasting.
And His truth endures to all generations.
~Psalm 100~

 

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Responses

  1. I will join you!!!!!

    Thank you for this blog. Sometimes looking at scriptures when we are facing certain trials breathes new life into them. Thats why the word truely is inexhaustable! I want to practice Thanksliving! Seems lately a lot of this life has to do with changing your perspective. Things seem not so bad after the Lord gives us a good attitude adjustment! Thats what Phillippians can do for me. -Sarah

  2. My relationship with God reminds me so much of my relationship with my kids. I am a broken record asking them to use their manners and say Thank You.

    Or, “turn your hateful into grateful.”

    All the good parenting one-liners. It is EXACTLY what God is asking of us. He promises us peace when we pray to Him with thankful hearts. This verse puts it all in perspective for me.

  3. It’s so awesome how God works! I guess I never really caught that tail end of the verse – be ye thankful. But really, it makes so much sense! We can’t have peace when we’re worrying about our problems or thinking about how bad things are. I totally needed to hear this… I appreciate you and thank you for sharing how the Lord is working in your life – it’s been such an encouragement to me!

    (And I am so honored that you would link me into your blog…)

  4. Girl, I know how you feel. It is so ironic how we know God’s words. We love God, but yet sometimes it so hard to trust Him, I know when I think I can do better, that is when I am robbed of my peace.
    I remember when I knew what God was telling me to do concerning my job. Well I was so used to making the money in the family, it was very hard to let go. The first time he told me to stay home and raise my kids, I didn’t. That is when my foot surgery happened. My job involved standing, ouch. After that instead of quitting, I changed jobs with less hours. Two months of that and… Gall bladder surgery. After that one I said ok God lets do it your way.
    Hang in there. I will join you in prayer for direction and that oh sweet peace that passes all understanding.

  5. All men desire peace, but very few desire the things that create peace…wow.

    Thanks for sharing what God has laid on your heart. You have a beautiful honesty that shares and challenges all at the same time.

    Peace will not be found in our worry or focus on the negative. A heart of gratitude…now that is what I want to have.

    This psalm is the first one my kids and I memorized together. Love it!

  6. Love this post and that verse! Know that He is God! He is so good.

  7. I like the Thomas a Kempis quote. Alas, ’tis true! I share the same problem when it comes to gratitude… and that is, forgetfulness. I pray often, “Help me REMEMBER.”

    So, back to a Kempis… what are the things that make for our peace? Certainly gratitude. There are many internal, spiritual things. But do you think that there are outward, practical things that can help our spirits remain at peace? Perhaps finding those things, finding the balance in both, will bring you closer to wisdom.

    Don’t you wish you could hole up for about 3 days and THINK? 🙂 When I have a pressing decision to make, that is what I always long for. But then Elisabeth Elliot’s voice whispers in my mind, “just do the next thing.” Sometimes it’s the “dailiness” of living and all its details that is our saving grace. You are wise to stop and rest and pray and let God come as He wills.

  8. Praying for you, Heather…for peace that passes all understanding to Rule your heart and mind and keep you in His perfect Peace…without any return to fear or worry.

    I’m headed out of town soon, but wanted to stop by and thank you for praying for these ones who are sick!
    Blessings Friend!
    Holly

  9. A key unlocked — THANKFULNESS!


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