Why Being Thankful Is a Powerful Way to Live Free
By Debbie McDaniel
The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.” Psalms 28:7
We have so much to be grateful for in this life, every single day. But reality is that sometimes constant life demands, battles, and worries give more room to defeat than to a heart of thanks. Or we forget, in the midst of busyness and pressures, just to pause and give thanks for all that God has done and continues to do in our lives.
Sometimes it really is a sacrifice to offer praise and thanks. We may not feel like it. We’re struggling. We’re weary. Or maybe, we feel like He let us down. We think God seems distant, like he’s far away, or doesn’t really care about what’s troubling us. Painful life blows and losses might have recently sent us spiraling.
But here’s what can make a lasting difference. We have a choice, every day, to give him thanks. And with a heart of thanksgiving, we realize that no matter what we face, God doesn’t just work to change our situations and help us through our problems. He does more. He changes our hearts. His power, through hearts of gratitude and focused minds on Him, releases the grip our struggles have over us. We’re strengthened by His peace, refueled by His joy.
No matter what our current situation, or the struggles we may be facing, here’s what choosing to be thankful does:
- It gets our eyes off ourselves, and helps us to focus back on God.
- It reminds us we’re not in control, but that we serve a Mighty God who is. It keeps us in a place of humility and dependency on Him, as we recognize how much we need Him.
- It helps us to recognize we have so much to be thankful for, even all the little things, which often we may forget to thank Him for. It takes our attention off our problems and helps us instead to reflect on the goodness of His many blessings.
- It reminds us that God is the Giver of all good gifts. We were never intended to be fully self-sufficient in this life. A grateful heart reminds us that ultimately God is our Provider, that all blessings and gifts are graciously given to us by His hand.
- A heart of gratitude leaves no room for complaining. For it is impossible to be truly thankful and filled with negativity and ungratefulness at the same time.
- It makes the enemy flee. The forces of darkness can’t stand to be around hearts that give thanks and honor to God. Our praise and thanksgiving will make them flee.
- It opens the door for continued blessings. It invites His presence. God loves to give good gifts to His children. He delights in our thankfulness and pours out His Spirit and favor over those who give honor and gratitude to Him.
Intersecting Faith & Life: Maybe you’re in a hard place right now. Maybe you feel like God has left you on your own, to fend for yourself, or the battle seems too hard. Maybe there’s never enough money left at the end of the month and you can’t figure out how to make things work. No matter what, in it all, be assured that God is with you and He cares. Choose a heart of gratefulness today. Make a list of all that God has blessed and filled your life with, that it’s been easy to take for granted at times. Trust He knows what concerns you and is at work even now, to bring you through this uncertain season. Thank Him for providing all you need.