“From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, the Lord’s name is to be praised.”
It has been said that the best things in life are the simplest things. Like seeing the radiant smile of a toddler in the midst of a busy street, a gentle breeze on a hot Saturday afternoon, or receiving a surprise phone call from a long lost buddy! The best part is that life is actually full of these moments!
Even so, we know that it can be difficult to be thankful for such seemingly insignificant things when we’ve got bills to pay, deadlines to meet, and even friends and loved ones to please. Hence, it would be helpful for us look again at the idea of thankfulness and how that leads to a life that is meaningful and fulfilling. Is being thankful a mere response of gratitude, or is there more to it?
If thankfulness is simply an outward expression of our gratitude to the external circumstances we are in, then when we meet another bump in the road (as it is with life), we will find ourselves questioning life and feeling all crummy.
However if we change our inward perspective to how life should run, we’d find ourselves less hungry for more and thankful for whatever circumstances we face in life. That’s because something amazing has already happened in the history of mankind! Something so spectacular that it shapes our past, present, and the future in this world.
In the beginning of time at the Garden of Eden, we see how man and woman were created to be satisfied and pleased with God and His provisions—and everything was perfect. When Satan came in and tempted the two, he weaved a lie into their hearts that you don’t need God to exist, you have the ability to be as powerful and in control of your own life! And alas, begun the hunger for things of the world that could never fully satisfy us.
After the fall, man has forgotten the infinite pleasures of being in that perfect relationship with God. As such when life is all about me and how I want it to run, we find that we are often left disappointed and questioning what went wrong.
But if we see that life is all about God’s pleasure and His glory proclaimed in this earth, we don’t see opportunities to be pleased, rather, we see opportunities to please Him! This is liberating, because even when things in the world fail to satisfy us, God will never fail or forsake us. That means, even when we are unfairly treated by our bosses, left disappointed by our friends and by life itself, we can learn to see how God is using those moments to make His love known to us and to the people around us.
When we start to see life through God’s eyes, we find fulfillment and satisfaction in trusting in His promises and living a life of obedience to His commandments because that is what we were made to do!
To be thankful is to remember that we no longer have to answer to ourselves or to the world—God is the source of our joy and His grace is sufficient for my every day!
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”—2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)