Colossians 2:7 ESV
Psalm 51:10-13 NKJV
Romans 3:23 NKJV
Genesis 22:13-18 NKJV
Philippians 2:13 NKJV
The most remarkable thing about giving thanks is that God wired our brains so that when we are grateful and thankful the brain releases serotonin when we are grateful.
It’s a win win.
Once I found that out, I started doing intentional things that make me feel happy and grateful for my happiness.
The thing is, it doesn’t have to be something big. You don’t have to win the lottery to be grateful.
I don’t have to go very far to be grateful. One of my daily sources of gratitude comes from laughter and from my dog. I am also really grateful for my kids, for their wonderful remarkable spouses, and for my eight grandchildren.
Every day I look for and I find things to be thankful for.
I love love love my car and I consider it a gift (every day) so whenever I go somewhere I am thankful for my red mustang. I would be even more grateful if it was a brand new Shelby mustang, but I’m still grateful for my older model mustang.
I am also grateful for my iPhone and my iPad because they make it possible for me to write my blog and do the photography and the illustrations.
I’m grateful for this blog. I love writing and doing the illustrations…it’s a real blessing!
I’m grateful for you who come and join in.
I could go on and on but you get the idea. Being grateful doesn’t have to be just for big things. Gratitude for small things is still gratitude and it makes our brain move and work FOR us.
In Colossians 2:7 the Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”
That scripture makes me grateful for God, Jesus, and the Spirit and how God helps me walk with Him every day. I’m grateful that God teaches me how to rely on Him and helps me to grow to be established in the faith. I KNOW I can’t do that on my own. I rely on God to hold onto me, teach me, and show me daily who He is.
I do not establish myself in the faith. God establishes me in the faith.
God, through the Spirit and by His Son teaches me daily how to rely on Him.
That brings us to the thankful part.
When we rely on God, when we turn to God we also abound in thankfulness. None of that is of our own doing. We don’t have to conjure up a reason to be thankful.
We can ask God (and I do) to give us thankfulness.
When I ask God to give that to me, I am giving Him permission to infiltrate me with His thankfulness. I’ve been really blessed to have been associated with Spiritual Leaders who have great theology. I had to learn that God is our creator and as such, creates in us a clean heart.
In Psalm 51:10-13 after David had been with Bathsheba and he wrote, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast Spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You.”
Even when David made it so Bathsheba’s husband died in battle so he could be with her, God forgave him and restored him.
God created a clean heart in David.
God forgave him.
God restored him.
God made it so David could move forward as King of Israel.
The point is, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
And God made a way when there was no way as He did for Abraham when he laid his son Isaac on the altar in Genesis 22:13-18, “Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” God provided a sacrifice.
We learn in Philippians 2:13, “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
ALL of those scriptures make me so very grateful for scripture, for technology, and for computers.
In this age…we are so blessed!
We are blessed that today God makes a way for us to connect with Him in many ways that we’re not possible even 30 years ago.
I’m old enough to be grateful for computers that replaced manual typewriters. I’m old enough that I remember how difficult it was to look for a certain scripture manually.
Finally, I’m old enough to be really grateful and thankful to know what serotonin is and how God made a way for us to know the importance of gratitude!
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: BE Grateful
Find one thing to be grateful for today and remind yourself to be grateful throughout the day!
In God, Deborah