Warm, Comforting, Thankful, & Grateful with Thanksgiving Blessings!
Guest Author, Natalie Lawrence of the Female Athlete Mission, “FAM,”
Having gratitude is more than a feeling. Sometimes we experience a visceral feeling of thankfulness due to our circumstances, a special event, or when something amazing happens to you. Maybe a friend drops a meal off at your house or you catch an incredible sunset, and it has you feeling warm and fuzzy! Other times you may feel vastly different, apathetic, distracted, or honestly bitter with current life circumstances… And that’s okay, we are all human, but don’t let yourself fall into a trap of negativity!
Read-on for today’s Godly inspiration, comfort, & uplifting thoughts around gratitude:
Regardless of our feelings, God’s Word commands us to be thankful!
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you,” (NIV).
Therefore, even when we don’t “feel” grateful, thankful, or at peace in our lives, we must cultivate the discipline of being thankful. It is a muscle that can practice and actively get better at adding thankful or grateful to one’s mindset.
Start the day Right
Comfort Through Psalms Prayers
One way we can do this is by starting our day by reading a Psalm. Psalms are prayers that have been recorded over a number of years, many written by the Biblical hero, David himself. They are real and honest prayers. Many of them are filled with lamenting and harsh questions pointed at God. And yet, the majority of these prayers turn to gratitude despite the other honest words we pray about.
Expressing gratitude towards God does not mean we have to avoid the hard things we are going through. It doesn’t mean we have to show “pretend optimism” or present a false front to God. Scripture shows us that we can come to God with our grievances and still find ways to be thankful or joyous for what we DO have. For example, even when our circumstances do not lend to any gratitude, we can always be grateful for salvation. We can be grateful for who God is. We can look at our life from different perspectives. If we cannot be grateful for what we’ve been given, we can be grateful for what we have spared.
3 Comforting Bible Verses to Follow
3 Verses to Comfort, Uplift, & Bless:
1. Psalm 77:1 – 2:
“I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands, and I will not be comforted.”
Psalm 77 is a great example of this tension of crying out to God and still being thankful. Let’s look at this together:
- This Psalmist begins by sharing how he has not felt comforted by God even as he cries out to him.
2. Psalm 77:7 – 8:
“Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time?”
- The Psalmist then begins to question God with deep anguish.
- It is okay to pray to God with this sort of lament; always be honest with God, even if it feels wrong, awkward, or embarrassing.
3. Psalm 77:11 & 13:
“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago,” and continued into verse 13, “Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God?”
- The tone switches in this verse: The Psalmist begins to look back at times where God has been faithful in the past.
- He remembers to exalt God and recalls His past miracles as inspiration, comfort, and care.
We can use Psalm 77 as a template for grateful and thankful prayer. Be honest with God. Cry out to him and express your questions, reservations, or sore sports. And when you finish, make sure to end your prayer by recalling who He really is. Stay steadfast and remember what He has done through scripture, in your own life, in the past, and stay hopeful for the future, knowing that God is always there to care, comfort, and carry your burdens.
This mindset will cultivate a heart of gratitude, while also allowing for space to be honest with yourself, your place in life, and with God, as the Father.
How amazing is it that we can be hopeful, grateful, and always cared for by the Lord?!
More Psalms to Follow
Comfort, Growth, & Gratitude
With as many Psalms as there are, one needs only to open the Bible and feel comfort! Other Psalms that are filled to the brim with gratitude and praise should be important in your day, week, and life overall.
And maybe (hopefully) you are not in a season of anguish, and yet, still you will need help, support, and care to add gratitude to one’s life. When we hear the gratitude in the voice of the Psalmists, it can inspire us to pray the same way, with a joyous heart, mind, body, and spirit!
Here are 2 more Psalms to read in the mornings for the next week:
- Psalm 34:1 – 4
- “I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”
- Psalm 95:1 – 6
- “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. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is His, for he made it, and His hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God!
Try reading a Psalm every morning for a week and see how it begins to cultivate a heart of gratitude in your life!
May you be blessed by scripture and find courage in the words that you read!
And happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
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