Continuing in the afterglow of Thanksgiving are thoughts from Sarah Young’s, “Jesus Calling:”
Thankfulness takes the sting out of adversity. That is why I have instructed you to give thanks for everything. There is an element of mystery in this transaction: You give Me thanks (regardless of your feelings), and I give you joy (regardless of your circumstances). This is a spiritual act of obedience-at times, blind obedience. To people who don’t know Me intimately, it can seem irrational and even impossible to thank Me for heartrending hardships. Nonetheless, those who obey Me in this way are invariably blessed, even though difficulties may remain.
Thankfulness opens your heart to My presence and your mind to My thoughts. You may still be in the same place, with the same set of circumstances, but it is as if a light has been switched on, enabling you to see from My perspective. It is this Light of My Presence that removes the sting from adversity.
To protect your thankfulness, you must remember that you reside in a fallen world, where blessings and sorrow intermingle freely. A constant focus on adversity defeats many Christians. They walk through a day that is brimming with beauty and brightness, seeing only the grayness of their thoughts. Neglecting the practice of giving thanks had darkened their minds. How precious are My children who remember to thank Me at all times. They can walk through the darkest days with joy in their hearts because they know that the Light of My presence is still shining on them. Rejoice in the day I have made, for I am your steadfast companion.
When your mind is occupied with thanking Me, you have no time for worrying or complaining. If you practice thankfulness consistently, negative thought patterns will gradually grow weaker and weaker. Draw near to Me with a grateful heart, and My presence will fill you with Joy and peace.
A life of praise and thankfulness becomes a life filled with miracles. Instead of trying to be in control, you focus on Me and what I am doing. This is the power of praise: centering your entire being in Me. This is how I created you to live, enjoy abundant life by overflowing with praise and thankfulness.
As we head into the busy and often stressful Christmas season, let this mindset of gratitude keep us centered so that nothing can rob us of the reason for the season—God with us.
–By Rev. Dr. William Lewis