A Thanksgiving edition of this week’s Southern Cancer Center “Bread Bite”, here are words of encouragement from Pastor Daniel Blaylock of Forest Hill Church of God in Mobile, AL.
“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (I Thess. 5:18)
If there’s ever been a year we’re tempted to lose our grip on gratitude, it could be this one. If you’re struggling to have a thankful heart this season, try this — In her book, Living in Gratitude: A Journey That Will Change Your Life, author Angeles Arrien offers four suggestions I am finding helpful. Instead of focusing on our difficulties or dwelling on our perceived lack or unfulfilled desires, we must focus instead on:
1. Blessings—Relearn the truth of the old gospel song “Count your blessings, name them one by one.”
2. Lessons—Instead of relenting the past, rejoice in the wisdom you have gained even through the tough times; celebrate how your trials have formed you into a wiser, stronger, more compassionate Christian.
3. Mercies—Even in our sins and shortcomings, we have been shown forgiveness—by God and by other people. Remembering the times we have been shown mercy and undeserved grace helps us deal with bitterness and unforgiveness, which are the enemies of gratitude.
4. Protections—Instead of becoming fixated on the good that has been withheld from you, consider the evil that you have been spared!