Being thankful to God sounds like an easy task, right? But sometimes it’s not. Sometimes we are going through hard times and being thankful or grateful is the last thing on our minds.
Sometimes, during the season we all share what we are thankful for, the only thing we can focus on are those faces we no longer see around the dinner table.
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What Does is Mean to be Thankful to God
Let’s face it. With the fast-paced world we live in we have so many things competing for our attention. And more often than not those things distract us. They direct our focus to the bad rather than the good.
Being thankful for God means praising Him in the storms as well as the rainbows!
Let us not grow complacent, friends. Let us have a plan in place that prepares us to show God gratitude in all circumstances.
Understanding Gratitude and Thankfulness
Appreciation and thankfulness – these are two words that can be closely associated with the word: Gratitude. I just love the definition by Lexico –
The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”
Readiness…Yes – this is what it comes down to.
What is gratitude?
Before knowing how to show gratitude, one must learn what gratitude is. Gratitude goes deeper than simply being thankful. Gratitude can be more closely linked to an emotion rather than an action. It is an emotion of well-being. It is an attitude of grace and gratefulness. Something we show in response to receiving something we have not earned. Gratitude is a response to a gift.
Did you know that showing gratitude makes us healthier? It also strengthens our emotions, helps cope with stress, can help you sleep better, improves productivity, and so much more! So essentially, when you show gratitude you are doing yourself a favor too!
REASONS TO GIVE GOD GRATITUDE
All you have to do is look around you. That’s it. We have so many reasons for thanking God and giving him gratitude! We could come up with every excuse under the sun to not be thankful – especially when our heart’s not in the right place (this is the reason preparation and readiness are key!). But ultimately we have EVERYTHING to be grateful for!
When it doubt, list it out -sister! That’s right! Make a list of things to thank God for! Take a pen out right now (or open your note app on your smartphone cause your techy like that), find something to write on, and write out the first thing you notice that you could be grateful for. Bashful? Let me start –
Breath, electricity, clean water, fingers to type this with, SALVATION, my husband, sweatpants….
I mean…I could keep going. You get the idea. We all have something to be grateful for. We just have to shift our focus, sister. You see what I’m saying? We can get so trapped by dark thoughts. The devil wants to keep us down but you know what?! Ohhh…add this one to your list too: we win!
…and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Revelation 20:10 NIV
How Can I Be Thankful to God
Oh, girl, there are so many ways of expressing gratitude to God and thanking Him for all He has done, who He is, and the many blessings still to come!
Did you know when you sing a worship song you are praising God and thanking Him through your voice? How about when you read the bible? Reading God’s word shows Him gratitude for your sight and for His word. What about taking care of everything He has given us? Yep – taking care of the house, car, kids, or even doing our best at work are all ways to show God gratitude! Here are a few other ways we can go about showing gratitude to god:
Being Thankful to God Through Praise
How do we praise God? Through our words. We sing to him and speak to him and express gratefulness using our voices. This doesn’t have to look any certain way. You don’t have to be in church or other religious settings to praise God.
You can do this while driving around from place to place in your car, while out for a walk with your dog, or even while in the shower. Showing God gratitude and thanking God through praise can be done anywhere!
Being Thankful to God Through Prayer
I just love this one!
We show God our gratitude through conversation with Him. When we pray to God we are showing that we value our relationship with Him.
It shows Him we want to tell Him everything about our days and that what He has to say is important to us.
Being Thankful to God Through Service
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.” – 1 Peter 4:10-11
We show gratitude to God by serving Him and serving His people. Showing God gratitude through service can be done in many ways. We serve by helping others in need.
We can volunteer to make dinners for a new mom so she doesn’t have to cook. We can offer to watch someone’s pets so they can go on a much-needed vacation. Another way to serve is to take an exhausted mamma to coffee and have a chat.
Yep…you got it! You can show gratitude to God by serving and…serving can be done anywhere!
In order to begin showing gratitude to God, one must be willing. Don’t feel willing? Pray about it! God will grant you what it is you ask.
How to Continue Being Thankful to God
Now that we have an understanding of gratitude and thankfulness, the reasons to show gratitude and thanks to God, and the ways to do it – the next step is to set yourself up for success.
Starting a gratitude practice will help ensure that you are always prepared and it will be a sure-fire way to create a healthy routine. Remember, gratitude is good for you too!
So what does a gratitude practice look like?
Having a gratitude practice looks different to everyone. I like to think of it as mini-goals for each day, week, or month. It can include things like this: Call my parents more often, keep a journal, spend one day uninterrupted each week with my kids, spend time in prayer, write a letter to your grandparents, etc. One of the best things you can do is study the bible every single day.
You can also embark on a 30 Day Gratitude Challenge to keep you focused on showing gratitude to others (which is a way of showing gratitude to God!).
The most important thing to remember is to stay consistent. Otherwise, a gratitude practice wouldn’t become a healthy habit. Each day make it a priority to pray for faithfulness. Ask God to keep you on track and to continuously bring your mind back to the things you are grateful for.
The Gift of Gratitude and Thankfulness
Showing gratitude and being thankful to God is what Thanksgiving is all about. Really, it’s the biblical way of Thanksgiving. The bible is full of moments, scripture, and tribute paid to giving God gratitude. Normal people – just like us – with normal people problems – are all over in the bible finding reason to show gratitude to God.
All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” –2 Corinthians 4:15
And, based on the list we compiled above, we have no reason to not be thankful to God for all He has done for us. The question is this: how are you going to make this Thanksgiving season (and all year long) more about showing gratitude and thanking God?
We love to hear from our readers! Let us know in the comments sections some ways you like to show gratitude to God and some new things you want to start implementing from this post!