When you learn to appreciate more of what you already have, you will find yourself having more to appreciate. If you want more love, appreciate the love you have. If you want more friends, appreciate the friends you have… I say it like this: What you appreciate, appreciates.
Today, we are focusing on “Living Grateful!”
I realized years ago gratefulness was more than just an attitude or a feeling- it was a powerful tool and principle to position, to promote and bring you to a place of wellness.
God has a good life for you! One with:
- and provision.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV), “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18- (MESG), “Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.”
(Verse 23) “May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!”
What you appreciate, appreciates…
A large body of recent work has suggested that people who are more grateful have higher levels of subjective well-being.
Grateful people are:
- less depressed,
- less stressed,
- and more satisfied with their life and social relationships.
Grateful people also:
- have higher levels of control of their environments,
- control of personal difficulties they experience in life,
- being more likely to seek support from other people,
- reinterpreted and grow from that experience,
- and spend more time planning how to deal with the problem
As well as:
- have less negative coping strategies,
- being less likely to try to avoid the problem,
- are less likely to deny there is a problem,
- are less likely to blame themselves,
- are less likely to cope through substance abuse.
Grateful people sleep better,
…and this seems to be because they think less negative and more positive thoughts just before going to sleep.
Philippians 4:8,9 tells us, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Gratitude has been said to have one of the strongest links with your mental health and wellness of any character trait– Life can be stressful, bringing anxiety, worry, fear!
In Psalms 9 & 10; the writer says: enemies have oppressed him, times of trouble, in affliction, depressed “gates of death”, needy, poor, helpless, feels forgotten… YET he starts by saying, Psalm 9:1 (ESV), “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all your wonderful deeds…”
Gratitude has also been strongly linked to ones spirituality. Studies found that spirituality is capable of enhancing a person’s ability to be grateful, and therefore those who regularly attend religious services or engage in religious activities are more likely to have a greater sense of gratitude in all areas of their life.
While recent studies have found the profound impact of living grateful- this should be nothing new to the believer… It is all throughout the word of God!
Psalm 138:1-3 (Message), “Thank you! Everything in me says “Thank you!” Angels listen as I sing my thanks. I kneel in worship facing your holy temple and say it again: “Thank you!” Thank you for your love, thank you for your faithfulness; Most holy is your name, most holy is your Word. The moment I called out, you stepped in; you made my life large with strength.”
Psalm 75:1 (Message), “We thank you, God, we thank you; your Name is our favorite word; your mighty works are all we talk about.”
Psalm 30:12 (Message), “I’m about to burst with song; I can’t keep quiet about you. God, my God, I can’t thank you enough.”
Psalm 54:6-7 (Message), “I’m ready now to worship, so ready. I thank you, God you’re so good. You got me out of every scrape and I saw my enemies get it.”
You are continually either growing into a bigger and better “Christ-like” person or shrinking into a little, bitter person.
You are living “expanded” or “contracted!”