This month I am doing something I have failed at every year and have never been strong at. Confession time…It’s journaling as part of my daily routine. I blame it on the simple fact that my mind creates thoughts quicker than my hand can write. I know that’s a poor excuse and something that (at some point) has to get thrown in the trash and replaced with a new outlook on this profitable discipline. So that mustering up is happening this month as I have been encouraged to keep a journal of the things I am thankful for. This only seems appropriate since it’s that time of year when we gather together to celebrate the holidays and reflect on the most important treasures in our lives. Even with all the hustle and bustle of this season, we still somehow manage to slow ourselves down and quiet our hearts and focus our minds to evaluate what really matters.
As I’ve taken time each night to think about what I’m thankful for, I have been overwhelmed with the simplest of things to the miraculous ways God has proven Himself as my provider, comfort, peace, etc. I have noticed how God has been changing my heart as I take just a few minutes each day to reflect, to rest, to be still and to intentionally glance back through the moments in the day to see where thanksgiving can be offered up to Him.
I’m learning through this process that thankfulness is cultivated in the life of a person. It is a conscious choosing to how you will respond to the circumstances and your surroundings. It’s shifting your perspective to view encounters and situations through a different lens, through a different heart all together. Since God has given us His Spirit, if you are a believer, then Jesus has replaced your heart with His heart. You have the ability to GIVE THANKS in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you and I in Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18). We are instructed to give thanks, to praise, to rejoice in all things because we know that God is at work and He is with us.
Our knowing God is the solution to a heart that is thankful and to seeing a spirit of thanksgiving permanent every area of our lives. As you spend time over the holidays focusing on what you’re thankful for, realize that a true thanksgiving comes as we humble ourselves and lift our eyes to our Maker offering up praise to Him and thanking Him for who He is in all circumstances.
“Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.”
If you’ve been around Transform Student Ministries the past couple of years, you’ve probably met Carlotta. She’s part of Transform’s team and is passionate about reaching young people and loves building relationships with anyone who comes across her path. Carlotta’s love for the Lord is contagious, and being around her makes you want to know more about her Savior.