“Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving …”
— Psalm 95:2
Have you ever wished for a magic wand that could change all the unpleasantness of life into something good? Wouldn’t you love a way to instantly sweep away all the trivial things that accumulate until they drag you down?
I believe the Lord has offered us something similar to a magic wand. It can change our outlook on the circumstances surrounding us. What is it? Gratitude. When we feel grateful, our perspectives toward things change. We see our circumstances in a new, more positive light. And when we have grateful hearts, we want to express our gratitude outwardly through thanksgiving. This can work in reverse, too. If we give thanks even when we don’t feel very grateful, we often feel our attitudes change in a more grateful direction, just as if we passed a magic wand over ourselves.
Thanksgiving transforms the secular or commonplace into the sacred. When we give thanks to God, suddenly we see God everywhere. We find ourselves living in an enchanted land, a land in the presence of our great Creator and Redeemer. With our spiritual eyes open, we can see that it is God who gives us everything, from our daily bread to the money we need. Our faith grows stronger as we express gratitude. All things become suffused with the divine presence.
And as we recognize God’s blessings, our thankfulness gives us victory over temptation and sin. How can we commit adultery when we are grateful for our spouses? How can we steal when we are grateful for and content with what we have? How can we envy others’ talents and abilities when we feel thankful for the way God has made us? How can we grumble or complain when we’re thankful for God’s blessings?
We should thank God, and we should also show gratitude for the ways others have blessed our lives. Everyone needs the kind of lift that gratitude brings.
What are you grateful for today? Thank God for all the blessings He has given you, and see how it changes your perspective on life. And don’t forget to express thanks to someone who has enhanced your life. I hope that in your thanksgiving you’ll experience joy.