Spirit of Thanksgiving Part Three

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Choosing Gratitude

It’s November 21.

15 years ago my dad lost a fight to pancreatic cancer and entered into eternity. Yet, even today, I am still called to operate out of a spirit of thanksgiving and gratitude.

“Give thanks in all circumstances…” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

In all circumstances – in joy and in sorrow.

It’s days like today that being thankful seems unobtainable. It seems impossible. It seems as if there is no way it can be written on the fabric of our hearts. That is exactly what Satan wants you to believe. The enemy will take your feelings and let them speak louder than the truth. Your feelings are so valid. However, your feelings do not change the truth of who Jesus is and the fact He is never changing. He is kind, patient, compassionate, loving, comforting, etc. Today, He is still all of those things. For that, we have a reason to be thankful.

Right after my Dad died, a friend of my mom’s said to us, “the only way your children will ever get through this is by choosing gratitude.” It wasn’t until this past year that I understood what she meant by that. I have come to see that gratitude is the weapon that will constantly defeat Satan. He arrives on the scene, trying to draw up a scheme to make us falter in our belief, but gratitude shuts him down before the blueprints of his plan are even put into action.

Gratitude looks past what isn’t and finds what is.

Today, we can choose. We can choose to look at all that isn’t or we can look at all that is. We can choose to be thankful or we can choose resentment. Resentment leads to bitterness and bitterness leads to destruction. I know some days it’s harder than others to choose gratitude. Today is one of those days for me. But oh friends, we must. We must because Satan gets a tiny taste of victory when we don’t. To not choose gratitude is to also choose defeat.

But when we do choose gratitude, we win. The enemy loses and we win.

This does not diminish your pain. It does not change your story. It does not bring instant healing. What it does is it changes your perspective entirely. It gives you a new mindset. The mindset that says: I will look at what I do have and not just what I don’t.

And when your eyes just can’t seem to see it and your lips can’t seem to mutter a “thank you” His grace meets you right where you are and His Holy Spirit will intercede on your behalf.

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”  Romans 8:26

Oh dear one, if the gratitude is not there ask Him to get you there. He can’t take you where you don’t want to go.

Our circumstances so often block us from seeing anything else. Challenge yourself to look beyond the very thing that is diminishing your spirit of thanksgiving. The odds are there is in fact something good in this story of yours, you might just be missing it.

Choose it. Choose gratitude even when it makes no sense at all because gratitude always wins.