More than at any other time, it seems that during the Christmas season we have the tendency to focus on what we do not have, and when we do, discouragement sets in. Yet, in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, we are commanded to give thanks in everything for that is the will of God for us. Do you ever wonder what would happen if you were to follow Paul’s instructions on a consistent basis? Your situation may not change, but your state of mind surely will. The practice of gratitude has an incredibly healing power. Could it be possible that the secret of the abundant life lies not in what we have but in what takes place in us when we are thankful. Concerning thanksgiving and its result the following verses stand out to me:
Psalm 107:21-22 “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men! Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving and tell of His works with joyful singing.”
When we see nothing to be thankful for, thanksgiving is and feels like a sacrifice. Thankfulness, however, changes the focus of your attention from your lack to the goodness and faithfulness of God.
Try this, on a piece of paper write down all the things for which you are feeling discouraged. On another paper write down all that you know about the goodness and faithfulness of God. Tape both pieces of paper on opposite walls. Now, take a good look at the list of discouraging things. Ready? Now take your hands, hold your face and literally turn your head to look at the other list. Study it! Keep your focus on it. Meditate on each word. When you feel the urge to look back at the other list, refuse it. Remember, the focus of your attention has incredible power in the way we interpret our situation.