Does it come natural to you to give thanks?  Or does it take some real intention?  We just celebrated Thanksgiving 2023.  Many families spent the day cooking, eating and sharing meaningful conversations.  Most of us ate too much and prepared to go Black Friday shopping the following day.  It’s the beginning of “the most wonderful time of the year.”  It’s easy to rush quickly from Thanksgiving to Christmas.  We live in a fast paced world that rarely encourages us to stop, take a breath, and take in the actual day we are living in.  Most of us live in a fight, flight or freeze mode.  We rush from event to event and then we wonder where did the years go.  Slowing down is much needed but one of the hardest things we try to do.  If your Thanksgiving was difficult, hurtful or lonely.  I am sorry.  Life can be hard sometimes and relationships can be messy.

Why not sit down and make a gratitude list?  Yes, you can do this at any time.  It doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving Day.  Did you know that gratitude can actually change your brain chemistry?   As I’ve said many times, “feelings follow thoughts.”  It feels good to be thankful.  This little assignment will be easy if life is going well for you.  It may be more difficult if you are in a painful season.  But there is always something to be thankful for.  If it’s hard for you to come up with anything, ask God to help you remember how far you have come.  Life doesn’t have to be perfect in order for us to express gratitude.

Many times in the scriptures you will see the writer looking back on the faithfulness of God in their lives.  It’s good to remember.  It’s so easy to forget.  I remember our first counselor telling us we should keep a spiritual diary.  I wish I had taken his advice.  There were so many awesome things that God did in our lives over the years and now it’s hard to recall them all.  The enemy loves to snatch those memories right out of our minds.  He does NOT want us to remember God’s faithfulness.

Did you wake up this morning?  That means you have purpose.  Does it feel like everything is going against you right now?  I believe with all of my heart that means great things are ahead for you!  Our enemy is a deceiver and wants to do everything he can to keep you discouraged.  But oh how I love this scripture.   Isaiah 14:27, “For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him?  His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?  The enemy cannot stop you from accomplishing what God intends for you to do or be.  And in the mean time, HE is with you.  Deut. 31:8, “The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Choose to believe God’s word that is full of promises to you.  Colossians 3:2 tells us to “Set our mind on things above, not on the things that are on earth.”  Choose to look at life from an eternal perspective.  In a tough season?  Listen to II Cor. 4:17, “For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.”  I know, I know!  You feel your season is anything but a momentary and light affliction.  I hear ya!  But when you look at the entirety of your life, one day you will be able to see that you made it through those difficult seasons, and you were stronger than you realized.  We can be thankful for growth.

So, take a deep breath and think about what you are thankful for.  Write it down.  Speak it out loud.  Let it sink deeply into your soul.  There is always something to be thankful for.

II Corinthians 9:15 says, “Thanks be to God for His indescribably gift!