I love quotes and have always loved looking through quotes since I was really young. I came across this short quote a while ago and it is very common: gratitude changes everything. I feel like this quote rings so true. While it is only three words, it truly has so much meaning and depth to it.
Practicing gratitude and being thankful is something most people hone in on during the holiday season. Thanksgiving has thanks, literally in its name and heading into the Christmas season, gratitude and joy hang in the air. But what about the rest of the year? Sometimes being thankful can become an afterthought when you may be going through something difficult, getting caught up in other people’s troubles or worldly circumstances.
What I have found in my own life, is these three words have truly transformed my life. What you put your focus on, is what your life will become. If you constantly put your focus on negative news, worry and think the worst, your life isn’t going to feel too good.
I think what people fail to realize sometimes is that every day is a gift. Everything we possess is a gift. The people we love in our life are a gift. Everything. Is. a. Gift.
Down to the tiniest thing you consider “small” is a tremendous gift and I think if people were to simply change their thinking in this way, we would all be more peaceful, joyful humans. I can attest to this because thinking this way has transformed my life. I even heard on the radio recently that putting away your phone for just 15 min a day and simply practicing gratitude can relieve your anxiety so much. When you think more positively, your whole life becomes positive because it is all about perspective.
So, how can you apply this to your life?
I do this pretty much everyday, especially if I am having an off or tough day, I literally think about all the things and people I am grateful for in my life. When you start to think about it, you realize very quickly that you have ALOT to be grateful for.
I think of the things that we are just accustomed to having everyday that can be easily taken for granted. Like clean drinking water, a hot shower, food in the fridge, a warm home, my toothbrush, a pillow, a blanket, my bible, the ability to walk, to listen to beautiful music, my wonderful husband, my loved ones and Jesus.
Those are some examples from my own life that I think of when I am practicing gratitude. When I go through this list, my mood and gaze changes from my tough day to a posture of joy and simplicity. If we soak in our tough circumstances or problems too long, it will stain our perspective on our life. And as believers in Jesus, that is not how He wants us to live. He calls us to be different from the world and to live in a way that stands out. Is it ok to have a bad day and be down? Of course. We are all human and have emotions and flaws and cannot always see the light that surrounds us from above. We don’t have to be perfect people, just thankful people, where at the end of that tough day, we can look up to the heavens and know that we can be joy filled because Jesus is our ultimate hope and light at the end of the so-called tunnel of life. Everything we have to be thankful for, is from God. Like it says in James 1:17, Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. I love this verse because it reminds us that everything good in this life and every gift we receive is from our Father in heaven. He takes care of us and blesses us so abundantly. I love the second part of this verse as well. It says he does not change like shifting shadows. People can come in and out of your life and things change in our lives and it can be hard at times. But Jesus never changes. What He says in His word is firm and true and we can stand on that and know it will not crumble.
At the end of the day, God cares about our character and hearts. I believe being thankful for each day we are given and everything we get to experience in our life, from adventurous endeavors to taking a sip of clean drinking water each day, you will gain the perspective that God will be pleased with. Not taking anything for granted and simplifying your life will make you more joyful and joy is something we can all choose and should choose as believers. God does not want us to live miserable and think negatively constantly. He did not die so you can be miserable and not grateful. He died to give you abundant life, experience a heaven filled joy by being grateful for His creation and all the gifts He has blessed us with.
Gratitude changes everything and Jesus changes how you live. I know whenever I simplify my thinking and am abundantly grateful for the “small” things, I am humbled real quick, because when I think of things that most people do not even count as a blessing, those are things that some people do not even have. Like clean water to drink or even a hard floor for your home. Gratitude thinking leads to more empathy for others as well. It humbles you and softens your hearts toward others. Gratitude allows you to experience life more deeply and makes you enjoy your everyday ordinary life more. The ordinary will start to feel magical and makes each day exciting.
I hope this can encourage you to practice more gratitude if you do not or have not through life’s difficult days. I hope you can enjoy God’s gifts to you to the fullest. I pray that an attitude of gratitude will open your hearts and minds and transform your days into more joy filled ones. The way God calls us to live.
All for Jesus,
“If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily.” -Gerald Good