Give Thanks Out Loud

Gratitude is a new window you can use to see the world

All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen. — Revelation 7:11-12

You might know something in your mind, but it becomes tangible and sticks with you when you write it down. The same can be said for repeating something out loud. It’s another way to solidify the truth in your heart that you have so many reasons to give thanks.

Spend a few minutes reading out loud the gifts you’ve written down so far. How did reading them aloud affect your mindset and your mood?

Did you think of more gifts during the process? Write them down — and say them out loud too!

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Give Thanks Before Others

Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who is seated on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power.” — Revelation 4:9-11

Choose a friend, coworker, child, or relative. Tell him or her a reason — or several reasons — why you’re grateful. Your honesty will bless you both.

What are your thoughts about expressing your gratitude to someone else? Are you hesitant or eager? Why do you think you feel this way?

Do you have someone you can share your thoughts and feelings with? Do you know how you want to share your thankful heart? Write it down here first, like you’re writing a letter. You don’t need to be formal; just describe why you’re grateful.

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The Purpose of Gratitude

Always give thanks for everything,” Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:20 (TLB).

Okay, Paul, we think. But you don’t know about…

No doubt you face difficult circumstances. Paul did too — we’re talking stonings, shipwrecks, and starvation. He faced hard times, and because of them, he knew we’d need a reminder: always give thanks.

It takes work and intention to be grateful — to see what you have and not what you’re missing, to focus on your gifts and not on your losses. It requires setting your mind on the right things and putting forth effort day by day, again and again.

It’s challenging, friend. But it’s so worth it.

How do we know? Paul told us, after grasping for gratitude firsthand. Even behind prison walls, Paul found gratitude a key ingredient to a hopeful perspective and a happy life. Not because it took away his chains but because it changed the way he saw them:

I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare [the gospel] boldly. — Ephesians 6:20

Gratitude can do the same for you. You may be stuck in difficult circumstances. The rough road you’re walking may stretch for unknown miles. But gratitude can renew your mind (Romans 12:2) and transform the way you see your circumstances.

Said another way,

gratitude is a new window you can use to see the world.

You may peer out and see the same old life, same old circumstances, and same old struggles. But among them, now you also see something good. Something hopeful. Something praiseworthy. Something to be thankful for.

Excerpted with permission from The Weekly Gratitude Project, copyright Zondervan.

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Your Turn

Being grateful to God changes our perspective! We can change the way we think about our circumstances no matter how wonderful or how challenging by changing our focus. What are you thankful for today? Come share with us! ~ Devotionals Daily

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