This morning, I awoke overwhelmed with so much joy in my heart that I wondered, “Could I ever be happier than I am right now?” I spent the next couple of hours writing in my journal and thanking God for several different people who have impacted my life and encouraged me along the way in my journey with Christ.
To the natural eye, my life is far from perfect. My employment situation is unstable at best. I’m slightly overweight, and at this time, I’m not in optimal physical condition. On top of this, I am a single woman in my thirties, without a boyfriend, who has never been married. Gasp! How ever do I go on from day to day? (I am laughing my head off as I write this!)
You must be wondering why I am so happy. You know what? It’s an ancient secret and I’m not going to tell you anything about it! Just kidding. There’s no secret; and there’s really no mystery to it either. In fact, it’s quite simple. Here it is: I am happy and full of joy because I have learned to cultivate a heart of thanks. Here’s how: Every day, I spend some time thinking about blessings that I have received and thanking God for them. Honestly, it’s really hard not to be happy when you’re full of the gratitude that comes from an awareness of your many blessings.
All too often, especially in the entitlement culture of this age, people are so focused on what they want and what they don’t have that they fail to recognize all of the unique and special things that they DO have. They are so focused on lack and trivial desires that they eventually become miserable embittered people consumed by envy and greed. This is unacceptable for the people of God! We are called to stand out from the current culture, and to impact it for the better.
Depression is not of God.
Insecurity is not of God.
Fear is not of God.
Envy, striving, greed and the like, are not of God.
All of these things, among many others not listed, only serve to hinder the development of your relationship with God and to deter you from reaching your full potential as a powerful, blood-bought child of the King. Don’t fall into this trap!
Know who you are as God’s beloved child! Know the Spirit who resides within you, and yield to His guidance. Take the time to know the Father intimately, and learn how He sees you. Ask Him to tell you who you are, and who He created you to be. God’s words are the only ones that can define you. Open your eyes! Look around at everything and everyone that you have in your life that has blessed you in some way. Recognize God’s loving intervention and provision in your daily life.
And GIVE THANKS!
- Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
- Colossians 2:6-7 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
- Hebrews 12:28-29 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”