Power of Gratitude
Being thankful is more than just saying “thanks.” It’s a way of looking at life that can make tough times easier. The Bible teaches us the power of gratitude.
When bad things happen, it’s easy to see only the bad. But the Bible says, “Give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). That means being thankful even when it’s hard.
The Story of Job: A Deep Dive into Gratitude
Job from the Bible had a very hard life for a while. He lost his family, got very sick, and lost all his money. But listen to this: even in all that pain, Job still thanked God. He said, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). Job even argued with his friends who said he should be mad at God.
Why did Job do that? He knew that everything he had was from God in the first place. It wasn’t really “his” to lose. This story teaches us that no matter how hard life gets, we can still find things to be thankful for in life.
Job’s story is like a lesson for us. It shows us that being thankful is a choice. Job could have been mad or sad. But he chose to be thankful. We can make that choice too.
Steps to Being More Grateful
- Write It Down: Keep a “thank you” journal. Every day, write down one thing you are thankful for.
- Say It Out Loud: When you feel grateful for something, say it. Telling others can make you and them feel good.
- Look for the Good: Even in bad times, look for one good thing. It’s there if you look for it.
- Celebrate Small Wins: Did something good happen? Celebrate it. Even small wins count.
- Share the Love: Did someone help you? Tell them you’re grateful. They’ll feel good, and so will you.
Being thankful can change how you feel and think. It can make you happier and less stressed. And it’s good for your body too. People who are thankful are often healthier!
The Power of Gratitude in Relationships
Not only is gratitude good for you, but it’s also good for the people around you. When you say “thank you” to someone, it makes them feel valued. It makes your relationship stronger. It’s not just about family and friends. This can also apply to people at work or even strangers you meet on the street.
We touched on this before, but it’s so important it’s worth saying again. Life will have ups and downs. In both, there is room for gratitude. When you’re in a hard spot, it can actually be the best time to find things to be thankful for. It’s a way to focus on what you have, not what you’re missing.
When you’re grateful, it’s like a chain reaction. First, you feel better inside. Then, other people notice and feel better too. Then, they might start being more thankful. Before you know it, a lot of people are feeling good just because you started with one small “thank you.”
Other Ways to Show Gratitude
- Acts of Service: Sometimes, doing something nice for someone is the best way to say thank you.
- Gifts: A small gift can mean a lot when it’s given with a thankful heart.
- Quality Time: Spending time with someone can show them how much you appreciate them.
Studies have shown that being thankful is actually good for your health. People who practice gratitude sleep better, feel less stress, and even have stronger hearts! This isn’t just feel-good talk; it’s proven by science.
How to Make Gratitude a Habit
- Reminder Alerts: Put reminders on your phone to take a minute and think of something you’re thankful for each day.
- Family Time: Make it a family thing. Maybe at dinner, everyone can say one thing they’re thankful for during the meal time.
- Gratitude Buddy: Find a friend who wants to be more thankful too. You can remind each other to find the good in each day.
Being thankful isn’t just for now; it’s for life. As you grow older, you’ll find even more to be grateful for every day. And if you teach your kids to be thankful, they will carry the power of gratitude onto the next generation.
What’s making it hard to be thankful now?
How can you be more like Job and find things to be thankful for, even when life is tough?
Pick a Bible verse about being thankful. Remember it all week. If you feel down or ungrateful, think of that verse. Share it with someone close to you. Ask them to join you in being more thankful.
Ephesians 5:20 – “Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
James 1:17 – “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.”