According to Sammantha Thom, “material wealth, beauty, health, an exceptional career, marriage, children, a healthy family, loyal friends, special talents, spiritual gifts, a flourishing ministry… you will probably find in this list at least one thing you don’t have; and if not, then you could make your own list of blessings ‘waiting to be downloaded’.”

It is well known that nobody has everything. However, many believe that others are living the life they don’t have and possess what they lack to achieve absolute happiness. Thus, they are unable to appreciate what they have in comparison. What they fail to realize is that gratitude is primarily a choice and a certain path to contentment, joy, and peace.

Here are some tips to help you cultivate a grateful heart:

  1. Change your perspective

As long as you have breath in your lungs, you have a reason to praise God. Not only because life is a gift, but also because if you are still alive, it means God has a plan for you, and therein lies the subject of your joy and peace. It’s not about always thinking about those who have harder trials than ours to be grateful, but rather realizing that no matter our circumstances, God is the one who reigns over our lives and will never change His plans of happiness into plans of misfortune.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”. 2 Corinthians 4:18

  1. Learn to appreciate others

The apostle Paul declares that when he was a child, he thought like a child and acted like a child. If you’ve ever talked to a parent, you’ve probably heard that although we love them with all our hearts, children are the most ungrateful creatures. They spend their time asking and taking and hardly ever say thank you. They think everything is a right. Then they grow up and finally learn to appreciate their parents because as adults, they more adequately measure their sacrificial love. It’s the same with the spiritual baby in the church who spends time wondering what they are given or how they are served but spends little time appreciating others or giving back. Learning to appreciate others is a sign of maturity and gratitude. Additionally, it shifts our focus from ourselves, and a victim mentality, to truly appreciating what God offers us through our surroundings.

We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 1:2

  1. Change your speech

If you know the Bible, then you know the importance of words and the power of the tongue. If you spend your time comparing, envying, criticizing, or pitying yourself, you will always find more reasons not to be grateful. On the other hand, if you change your speech and learn to say thank you, to appreciate what you have, to compliment and congratulate others, you will renew your mind and change your mindset. You will eventually cultivate a truly grateful heart.

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21

  1. Remember God’s goodness

No matter what you are going through at the moment, I am sure you have already experienced God’s goodness and grace at least once in your life. When you believe you are at the end of yourself, look at what God has already done and celebrate Him for His past and future goodness, for He will do it again.

Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” Psalms 103:2

  1. Keep a gratitude journal

Keeping a journal where you write at least one thing each day is the best way to remember God’s goodness and to compel yourself to find reasons to thank Him daily. This exercise will reveal to you that you have more reasons than you believe to thank your Lord.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 representing a fully grateful heart that knows how to rejoice with others, where do you stand?

This text is an excerpt from the book “The Blessings of THANKSGIVING” written by Jérémie TCHINDEBE.

We invite you to read the following article “Why Should We Be Grateful?“.

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