I’ve noticed a Facebook challenge again the year.
I have seen it before but this year it really grabbed my attention. It encourages the user to list something you’re grateful for every day throughout the month of November.
I like that! In fact, I believe that grateful people live in greater peace. Why is that?
I’m learning for myself that when I am truly grateful for God’s blessings in my life then I am more content with my life as well. The Apostle Paul spoke these words:
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13 NIV
The last verse is used much today and it is the key to living in greater peace. When Paul stated “I can do all things through him who gives me strength” he was speaking of living a life with contentment.
God can help us to focus on our blessings and therefore experience greater contentment in life. That contentment leads us down the path to peace.
I understand that we all struggle with discontentment at times in life, including myself, but I’m learning that those who are discontent continually are those who focus only on what’s wrong in their lives. They seem to be less grateful for the blessings in their lives and therefore they lack peace.
We all have things that happen in our lives that we are not happy about and that cause us worry. Philippians 4:6 instructs is on how to deal with our anxiety.
I am not trying to coax us into denying our needs but I am encouraging us to recognize how blessed we really are.
My prayer for each of you reading this article is that you will find peace for your life. True peace is only found in Christ and his strengthening us to be grateful and content in every situation of our lives.
Let me encourage you to join me in counting our blessings during this Thanksgiving season. Take time to make a list of things for which you are grateful. Maybe start with the great faithfulness of God, for His love and His grace. Then consider your relationships, memories, material things, your abilities and gifts, your family and so on.
The Psalmists David wrote:
“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” Psalms 9:1 ESV
We all must admit that we are truly blessed. When our hearts are full of gratitude we will find ourselves living with greater contentment in life. So go ahead, count your blessings. Your peace depends on it!
Scott Lee is the pastor at Bethesda Worship Center.