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  • Neil Stokes

Attitude of gratitude


This week I had an overwhelming feeling of just being thankful. You know when you just know that you know its the right thing to do?! Did that last sentence even make any sense? The thing is, I am truthfully and genuinely thankful for what I have.

A stunning (and very patient) wife, two beautiful daughters (they take after their mum), a house, car, a dog that invades my space all the time, and many more things.


Whatever your situation is here and now, ask yourself what you have that you can be thankful for. Sometimes, we are so focused on what we don't have or what we want that we fail to see the good in our life. Friends, family, pets...the list can go on.


As a Christian, I know that I should always be thankful. I should always be full of joy too. But circumstances can shift our attention and focus away from God. Let me just say that sometimes I am not full of joy. Neither am I thankful all the time. You may be surprised to hear that I can be very joyless and un-thankful.


But thats okay, becuase it is all part of the journey, all part of the transformation of myself in becoming more like Jesus and less like me (thats a good thing).



"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thess. 5:16-18


Rejoice, pray and give thanks. Easy enough to do when things seem to be going well, slightly harder when things don't. Yet when we draw close to God and have an 'attitude of gratitude', and we do this consistently and take time over it, rejoicing from a posture of prayer helps us to be thankful.


There will always be someone better off than us, and always someone not so better off than us. But what we do is take what we have and invest it back towards God and work to not only transform ourselves but those around us.


The Kingdom of God is near. That may sound like a rather lofty statement, but as a Christian I fully understand that I carry the kingdom in me. Thats what the Holy Spirit is - a down payment from God on me - and I fully understand that I should be carrying what that means. It's not a burden, it doesn't weigh me down and it doesn't hold me back.



It does the opposite. It sets the captive free, it brings joy and peace, and it gives a thankful posture. Yes, it doesn't happen in one go, it is something I work on daily. But it is such a better propostion than what I used to know. I won't always get it right, and I will stuff up every now and then. But thats okay. Its all part of the journey.


Neil

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