Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other….And cultivate thankfulness.  Colossians 3:15, The Message

How do you cultivate thankfulness? That’s a good phrase, because we may think we are born a grateful person—or we’re not. But God says to cultivate thankfulness. How do you cultivate anything? You work at it, you foster and nourish it; you do whatever it takes to make it thrive. I wish that earlier in my life I had cultivated a grateful attitude. Instead of always trying to fix the problem, I would have committed it to God. I would have reminded myself that He could speak to me about anything that I needed to do to solve the problem. I could have just let it go and then decided to be grateful for the many things that weren’t a problem. I could have been happier! I could have enjoyed the journey more! I could have acted like I had a heavenly Father who cares!

            A few years ago, a commercial on television began with a black and white clip of Lou Gehrig being honored by Yankee fans on his last day of play. His career was shortened by ALS, which is now called Lou Gehrig’s disease, a debilitating muscle disease that eventually stops the heart. What would you have said in the face of this heartbreaking challenge? What are his thoughts? Amazingly, he begins: Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”  What??!! How could he say that? Gratitude. Gratitude for all the gifts he had been given, for all the love he had been shown by fans, for all the opportunities he had. He focused on the joys not the losses. That’s cultivating thankfulness!

            Charles Dickens once said, Reflect upon your blessings, of which every man has plenty, not on your misfortunes, of which all men have some.”  Psalm 92:1 says, It is good to give thanks to the Lord. You can’t focus on your losses and be grateful at the same time. Gratitude comes from a humble heart.

         Henry Ward Beecher said, A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.  God is good and merciful. The price that Christ paid so that I could be redeemed is immense. His grace to me is so amazing. I hate thinking that when I say that I can’t give thanks, I am verbally shaking my fist and saying to God, I deserve better!  Life is both a gift and a celebration, or it’s a chore. The choice is yours.

   **Finish this sentence: When I cultivate thankfulness, I __________.

   **Where in your life do you think you deserve better?

My Father in heaven, I bow to You. Thank You for being God. May Your kingdom come and Your will be done in my life. In my gratitude, may Your peace reign.

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