Have you ever felt that surge of inner happiness that brings a smile to your face, warms your heart, gives you a positive attitude and a spring in your step? What could be so powerful?
Well, it’s really quite simple. When we are appreciative, even for the small things that we experience in everyday life, we are feeling thankful or, another way of saying it is, being grateful.
And there is a growing number of scientific research studies which show there are many psychological benefits to being grateful, including feeling happier, lowering stress, improving your quality of sleep, reducing depression and anxiety. And of course, let’s include we just feel good when we are being thankful.
So, developing a spirit of gratitude, a genuine appreciation of thankfulness, is an essential skill for everyone. Being thankful and showing gratitude helps us to develop a more positive outlook. It lets us take a moment to pause and reflect on what is good in our life right now.
Dale Carnegie, in his classic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, wrote about the value of smiling at people and helping others to feel valued and important. He suggested that we should show people how much we appreciate them. We could all take the time to smile and show appreciation.
The Bible dedicates many verses to being thankful, to the peace we can have when Jesus is in our hearts. The peace and gratitude overflow and change our attitude and our outlook on life. I’d like to share some of these verses with you.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” 1 Chronicles 16:34
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15
“With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord.” Ezra 3:11.
“I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness.” Psalm 7:17.
“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart.” Psalm 9:1.
What do we have to be thankful for? For life, for family, for friends, for our work colleagues, our community, our church, and for the many blessings God gives us, some we may not be aware of until days or months later.
Even if we are going through difficult times, we can still praise God for his love, his care, his gift of salvation and his promise to be near us when we call. God is our protector and our ever-present guide in times of trouble. All we have to do is look up to God.