“Expressing gratitude may seem like a small thing. But the person you are becoming is largely determined by the repetition of small things. The practice of offering thanks cultivates the heart a day at a time. With gratitude, it pays to think small.”- Jeff Manion
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”- Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
On Day 13 (“The Power of a Thankful Heart”), Week 2 of Dream Big, Think Small, Jeff Manion talks about the second practice of effective journaling.
Practice 2: Gratitude. Because Jeff doesn’t want to take God’s gifts for granted, each day he jots down three things for which he’s grateful. Hence, this exercise in gratitude awakens his heart to the goodness that surrounds him.
Above all, Pastor Manion tries not to repeat himself in his gratitude list. Instead, he attempts to identify fresh blessings that somehow escaped his notice.
However, Jeff observes, some seasons of life leave us feeling body-slammed. Therefore, during such times we need the firm foundation of gratitude to stabilize us in the storm. Expressing gratitude to God aids our survival. Furthermore, gratitude lifts our souls and awakens us to God’s goodness. Also, it keeps us grounded in the knowledge of God’s gracious provision.
So, when anxiety, worry, and fear assail us, Jeff exhorts, focus on two specific words often overlooked in Phil. 4:6-7 — with thanksgiving. Jeff explains:
“Our urgent requests are to be accompanied by offerings of thanks. When plagued by difficulty and overrun with challenges, a remedy for peace involves gratitude. As you pray, mention to God all that is going wrong. But also offer thanks for the blessings that flood your life. Thankfulness is the enemy of anxiety. They are incompatible roommates.”
Today’s question: What Scriptures help you in expressing gratitude? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The quiet voice of God whispers”