When you were young did you ever receive a present that you didn’t necessarily like or want? Is a particularly ugly outfit coming to mind? Maybe you asked for a certain toy but got something completely different? And the only thing that made this gift worse was looking over to your parent and seeing them mouth the words to you, “Be. Thankful.”
Honestly, I’ve actually had moments where this is the kind of response I’ve given God.
“Really – this is what you’ve giving me right now? But what I really wanted was this…” I’ve thought my circumstances should be a certain way, when they were another. I’ve thought I deserved something better (at least, better in my mind) than what I had.
I wrestle with a thankfulness problem. We all do. God is always good. He always knows what He’s doing, even when I don’t necessarily get what He’s doing (Isaiah 55:8-9). So how do we combat our own lack of thankfulness? Here’s three ways to be more thankful…
1. Ask God to give you a thankful heart.
You and I cannot will ourselves to be more thankful people. We need a heart change and God is always in the business of changing hearts (Psalm139:23-24). Prayer is simply talking to God. So, talk. Ask Him for a thankful heart.
2. Read the Psalms.
The Psalms are full of beautiful poetry and songs that give us greater view of God, what He’s like, and how He works in our lives. Often in the Psalms we see the writer both calling out for God’s help and yet expressing thankfulness to God for who He is, even in the midst of troubling circumstances. This is a good model for us as we grow in thankfulness.
3. Sing. And no – I’m not kidding.
Listen, even people who can’t carry a note find themselves singing along to their favorite kinds of songs. Some folks like cheesy, country tunes about drinking ice tea while fishing with their high school sweetheart. Some of you are ready to sing Christmas music as soon as the temperature outside is under 50 degrees.
The Bible encourages us to sing about God and be thankful! So, today – find a song that helps you be thankful to God… and sing! Both I and your hairbrush microphone know you can do it.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.Colossians 3:16-17