“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8 NKJV)
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to get together with friends and family and appreciate God’s wonderful presence in our life. One day does not give us nearly enough time to be reflective and grateful for all of His wonderful blessings. God’s powerful presence in our life goes far beyond one simple day of Thank You! He has been with you and watching over you since before you were even known to this world.
Our family, our friends, our personality, our journey, and the wisdom that comes with our experiences are all a gift from God. While it is a good start, one day is not possible to celebrate in gratitude the gifts from God in our life!
Every day I get up in the morning, I offer my gratitude to God for something. It is a habit I started years ago when I found myself focusing on the adversities in my life and not on the blessings. My morning gratitude reminds me all that I have and all that I am because of Him; and, it encourages me to continually express my appreciation for His blessings.
I was thinking about my gratitude habit the other morning as I was getting ready for a bike ride. My morning rides are now beginning long before the sun comes up and as winter moves in, they are getting colder, too. Last week, as I was heading out the door at 5:30AM the thermometer read 42 degrees. Even for a guy from Michigan, that is a cold bike ride. As I was pulling on my extra warm gear, I found myself thanking God for the ability to ride my bike. Instead of seeing a blustery cold ride as a challenge or a chore, I saw it as a gift and opportunity to be both appreciated and enjoyed. None of this would be possible without God’s handiwork in my life. An hour later, as the sun started appearing on the horizon, I had another opportunity to thank God for the beauty in his sunrise and in my ability to celebrate it in such a peaceful, powerful manner. Needless to say, the rest of the day was much better because I brought thanksgiving and God into the beginning of it.
Regardless of where the pains your heart is and the situation of your life, God has blessed you. There are aspects of your life that may be lacking or difficult; however, I am quite confident that there are other components of your life that are rich and fully blessed. Focus on what you have and the joy that comes from those gifts. Look to celebrate and appreciate those things daily rather than on what you desire as lacking or deficient. In your gratitude you will discover your life is richly blessed and you will also come to realize how much God really loves and cares for you.
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