Cultivating Thankfulness

We have a lot to be thankful for. I think most people would readily admit that. However, if we are honest, sometimes expressing thankfulness feels like a chore. The hardships of life have this way of drawing our focus away from our blessings. We know we have a lot of be thankful for, but life is hard. The list of problems we face are endless, and as we overcome one problem it's as if another problem is waiting for us. I titled this blog post Cultivating Thankfulness because the word cultivate implies work, effort, and intentionality. One definition for the word cultivate is "to devote time and thought to."

Yes, being thankful requires intentionality and devotion of time and thought. We have to be purposeful in our thankfulness. This is what God wants from us as believers, to work on being a people of thankfulness. Paul writes to the church in Thessalonica that they should, "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thessalonians 5:18, ESV). It is God's will for believers to give thanks in all circumstances; not only in the good, but in the bad as well. Give thanks when things are going your way, and give thanks when they are not. This is counter to human-nature, but this is why thankfulness requires effort!

In this season of Thanksgiving, let us be intentional about becoming a people of thankfulness. As the old song says, "when upon life's billows your are tempest tossed, when you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done." It may do us some good to take a pen and a piece of paper and write out all of our many blessings. Let us do the work of cultivating thankfulness and fulfill the will of God in Christ Jesus for our lives.

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