Have you ever thought about how to be thankful? When we are tempted to be ungrateful, we must ask God to realign our focus 360 degrees: the downside, upside, inside, and outside. First, we must look at the downside.
Regardless of our circumstances, it could be worse. This is hindsight that is mindful. In a cry for help, David thanked God for His strength and protection, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song” (Psalm 28:7).
David recognized that apart from God his circumstances could have been worse. Confirming that he could not have ministered without God, Paul informed Timothy, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service” (1 Timothy 1:12). In other words, left to himself, Paul would not have been strong enough or faithful enough to be appointed to God’s service. He was thankful for God in all circumstances.
What are your stormy circumstances? They might include a marital trial, debt, disappointment from a loss, an estranged relationship, a tragic accident, a lawsuit, or perhaps tremendous success that has translated into busyness. Where is your focus? Do you fix the gaze of your heart on Christ or the circumstances? Look at the downside. It could be worse. Consider journaling your choices, thoughts, prayers, and feelings as you recognize God’s provision and protection. Write down how matters could be more severe. Then thank God for being your strength and shield.
To share this devotional visit the archives.