The Secret Side of Thanks

Though I am not an avid Facebook (the online social network) user it is a great way to connect with people from the past, view their fun photos, and learn about their lives. It’s like personal people watching, or a fun, nice way to be a friendly ‘stocker.’ Anyway, as I have been perusing posts from my ‘friends’ I have noticed several who have chosen to post something they are thankful for starting November 1 and each day until Thanksgiving.

It has been encouraging to read. Some have appreciated the weather be it hot, cold, rainy, foggy, clear sky, or the first snow of the season complete with a beautiful photo of suburban street with cars and street and trees lightly dusted with pure white snow. There were also thanks given for things like a good job, a nice house, a bountiful garden, a sturdy mountain bike, and a reliable car.

There were also those being thankful for their abilities; creating culinary delicacies, making meaningful music, crafting eye-pleasing art, and succeeding at their craft. Others gave it up for family, friend, their spouse, their kids…even their dog (I recall no one being thankful for their cat, but I’m sure there have to be a few).

What was interesting to me was the side comments people where making as they took on this daily task of giving thanks. One person said they had missed one day so they felt compelled to give two things they were appreciative of. As they finished they commented how the day was different, kind of gloomy, not starting it with giving thanks. Another commented that each day as they thought of what to post they were thinking of what they were thankful for, and life seem to be brighter, not as stressful.

There is something to this habit of giving thanks…a kind of secret side of thanks. It changes up, gives us a better outlook on life.

That’s why God desires us to learn to and practice being thankful.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

To give thanks is to express to God gratitude for what we have. It’s easy these days to think we deserve much, and therefore not all that thankful because we think we are owed it, or deserve it, or are entitled to it. Yet the reality is we deserve NOTHING…yep nada…not a thing. Yet God in His grace allows us to have a relationship with Him, heave, love, joy, peace, hope, significance, purpose…and more…for those who choose to believe (by the way if you have not made that choice or feel stuck, feel free to write back I would love to help you on your faith journey).

As a believer in Jesus there is much to be thankful for regardless of our circumstances.

Psalms 106:1 Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.

Psalms 95:1-2 Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song.

Psalms 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.

Psalms 30:11-12 You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

Many of the Psalms in the Bible are giving thanks to God, like Psalm 111. Read the whole psalm and pray it back to God. See, when we thank God and take on an attitude of thankfulness, life gets better. Sure, circumstances might not change, but our attitude does. It might even make this Thanksgiving the best one ever!

What are you thankful for? I am thankful for our great and incredible God who has blessed my beyond what I have asked and way more than I deserve. I am also thankful for my smokin’ hot wife!, our awesome kids and their amazing spouses, and my job (I love what I do and so thankful God allows me to serve Him). And though I could go on with things and people I am thankful for, I am very thankful for you. It is a joy and honor to serve you who call Cypress Church your home and those others who God allows me to connect with through this writing. And thank you for read this.

Seeking that Secret Side of Thanks with you,

Mike

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