Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful Hearts

It’s hard to be thankful when…

Your mischievous child throws a snowball in your back when you pick them up from school;

Someone eggs your house and doesn’t have the guts to fess up; or

You notice the beginnings of gray hair, age spots, and wrinkles on a thirty something face.

Sometimes it’s hard to be thankful.

Having a heart of thanksgiving isn’t something we manipulate on our own.

A person with a genuine heart of thankfulness has an unexplainable thread of peace woven throughout their lives. They anticipate the presence of God in every situation. They see the treasure in every pile of trash. They see promise behind every heart break. They acknowledge discipline in the midst of the lesson. They notice God’s hand because they have a relationship not just a religion.

They choose to be swallowed up in God’s Word rather than spit out by their circumstances. No matter what happens, thankful people make a habit of stopping, pausing, and choosing.

Stopping- to acknowledge something to be thankful for in the hard times;

Pausing- to acknowledge God’s love and discipline no matter what season of life they’re in;

Choosing- to keep their eyes on Jesus until His powerful peace is unleashed.

Thankful people make the choice to respond in a God-honoring way despite their feelings.

They allow irrational feelings to catch up to rational choices.

There is such a thing as thankful people.

There are beautiful reminders all around me and in Scripture of people who exhibit a peaceful, thankful spirit no matter what life throws at them.

My grandfather was a POW in WWII. As the prisoners lined up in front of a firing squad, he prayed a prayer of thanksgiving. For no apparent reason, the German soldiers lowered their rifles and spared the prisoners lives. He later escaped and came home. 

Before Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den, “He got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before,” (Daniel 6:10). God spared David’s life. David’s reflection of thankfulness and obedience changed lives.

And Paul, bless his heart, even from jail never prayed a prayer without giving thanks.

I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. (Eph. 1:16 NIV).

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy.... (Phil. 1:3-4 NLT).

Paul cultivated a continual attitude of praise and thanksgiving toward God in his own life. And he did it amidst some very tough circumstances. How did he do it? Because the cross was central in his life and he was thankful.

Just how full is your praise basket?

Do you have a pattern of praise and thanksgiving in your life? How full is your praise basket? Are you empty or are you overflowing? Has life robbed you of your praisin’ Jesus moments today?

This new year, let’s choose thankful hearts no matter how hard life gets. No matter what Satan throws at us, we will keep our baskets full.

Let’s shake off the excess weight of hardship and taste the joy of thankfulness-- not just today but every day. If we do this, peaceful, gracious, and merciful God girls will emerge and lives will be transformed.
Happy Thanksgiving!



  1. This line is beautifully written... "A person with a genuine heart of thankfulness has an unexplainable thread of peace woven throughout their lives." Praise God for the peace that only He can give. Isaiah 26:3 seems to be my theme verse this year "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you." It's interesting, I think my praise basket gets filled up pretty easily, but then it gets dumped out over something trivial. Paul is a wonderful example of Christ being His center. That's what we strive for! Happy Thanksgiving precious friend.

  2. I want to keep my praise basket full of praises for my King. He is always worthy of my praise and I always have something to thank Him for. I've just gotta keep my eyes on Him. Thank you for this sweet reminder.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. This is beautiful, I want to praise Jesus even when life gets hard. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  4. So precious! And I was going to mention the same line that Heidi mentioned: "A person with a genuine heart of thankfulness has an unexplainable thread of peace woven throughout their lives."
    Beautifully written and the perfect question to ask ourselves: how full is our praise basket? Hmmm. Thank you for this! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
    LOVE your new signature - wish I'd thought of that first!! :)

  5. Beautiful post. I've been reminded this year of how precious life is and how much I have to be grateful for. It's so nice to read posts like this one. Even when it is hard to be thankful when we choose to count our blessings God reveals them to us!

  6. It is so easy to get bogged down by the bad things going on and the busyness of life. But we have to keep on praising! I am so thankful for all of my blessings, big and small. I am learning to praise Him more for these things. Great post. Thank you!