How Gratitude Grows
Updated: Jan 17
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18
The Bible tells us often to give thanks. When we give thanks in all things, it changes our focus and our gratitude grows. God knows how we are wired and I think that is why He often reminds us to give thanks. Giving thanks increases gratitude and gratitude is a powerful thing!
"Gratitude blocks toxic emotions, such as envy, resentment, regret, and depression, which can destroy our happiness." Robert Emmons
Gratitude has benefits. It promotes better sleep, improves immunity, decreases stress, lowers blood pressure and improves relationships.
Whatever we feed, grows. If we let our minds dwell in dark places, the darkness gets bigger and bigger and soon it engulfs us into depression and anxiety. If we change our focus and look deeply and carefully at our blessings, our mind lifts and joy follows.
Gratitude increases our contentment. Being thankful for what you have, who you are, how God made you unique, and your lot in life, instead of focusing on what you do not have and what you lack, makes you happier.
Have you ever noticed how grateful you are for something after it has been taken away? For example, toilet paper! Remember how it felt as this important commodity vanished off the shelves a couple years ago? Do you remember how grateful you were when you were able to find some?
Now as the gas prices soar and inflation sky rockets, give thanks! Give thanks when you find what you need at the grocery store. Give thanks for gas in the pump even when it hurts your pocket book. Give thanks for the bread on your table each day. Give thanks for the people gathered at your table. Give thanks for the trials that come because they draw your heart to God. Give thanks because it defeats the enemy when you do. When you give thanks you increase your gratitude and it lifts your heart to joy. When you have a God given joy, the enemy loses his power over you. Joy is like light that shines in on your soul and makes the darkness flee.
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
~Colossians 3: 15-17
Developing and increasing gratitude is as simple as counting your blessings everyday. Try it. Write down 3 things you are grateful each morning and see how your gratitude grows. Let your mind dwell there, long and steady until you feel that "lift" in your heart and soul.