Do you believe that you are blessed? Sometimes trials and distractions shift our focus away from the Giver of all good things, and we start seeing life through a negative lens. The truth is, there is always something to be thankful for - even in the midst of difficult circumstances. With fall approaching, we wanted to share some creative ways to cultivate a grateful heart this season.
Count your blessings - like the old hymn says, name them one by one! Grab a sheet of paper and write out a list. Say a prayer thanking God for the big and small ways He has provided for you. Even if you can only come up with a few ideas, at least it’s a starting point. Do a crafty project with your family - like cutting out paper leaves to create a “thankful tree” to display in your home.
Write a letter - doesn’t it feel great to receive a handwritten note? Take time to write a heartfelt letter thanking someone in your life who has impacted you. Tell them how much they mean to you and how grateful you are for their friendship. Consider sending encouraging letters or cards to deployed soldiers, homebound senior citizens, or hospitalized children as well. Positive words have the power to uplift both the sender and the recipient!
Memorize scripture - the Bible is full of verses reminding us to be thankful. Commit a few to memory for days when you are struggling. Some examples are 1 Chronicles 16:34, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Colossians 3:15, and Psalm 9:1. Having these verses hidden in your heart will enable you to call them to mind and instantly change your perspective.
Serve Others - another way to shift your perspective is to give back to those in need. Whether it’s through volunteering at a homeless shelter, donating clothes or food, or adopting a family for the holidays, you will be reminded of the selfless way God gives to his children. When we take sacrificial action to bless others, we will receive a blessing in return.
Focus on the Positive - sometimes we simply have to choose gratefulness over complaining and negativity. The thoughts we allow in our minds can sink deep into our hearts and dictate our actions. When tempted to go down that road, ask yourself: what might God want to teach me in this situation? How can I become a better person because of this? What is something good God is doing in my life? Of course no one is happy all the time, but don’t let the enemy steal your joy!
Remember the Big Picture - no matter what we experience in life, we have a hope and a future in Christ. Jesus died and rose again to give us unrestricted access to a loving God and abundant life here on earth. Yes, we will have trials in life, but we can take heart, knowing that He has overcome death forever. An eternity in heaven awaits all who call on his name. That’s something to be grateful for every day!