…Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name! —Psalm 100:4 AMPC
Being thankful is important, and God’s Word is filled with instructions and reminders to give thanks and be thankful. The words thanks and thanksgiving appear in approximately 100 Bible verses, and we’re told to give thanks 73 times. Anything the Holy Spirit repeats that often must be important to my life and yours.
Our gratitude belongs first to God, because without Him, we would have nothing. God is good. Goodness is part of His character and essence, and He is good all the time. He wants to be good to us and wants us to be good to others. Where goodness flows, thankfulness should also flow.
When we stop seeing the good in our lives and start complaining, we cause many problems for ourselves. I like to say, “Why be grumpy when we can be grateful?”
Psalm 100:4 says that we are to be thankful and say so (AMPC). This is a powerful instruction; it means to have a heart that appreciates everything it is given and a mouth that expresses thanksgiving to God and to people through the words we speak.
Expressing gratitude through phrases such as thank you or I appreciate you not only blesses those we speak to, but it also releases something wonderful in us. It helps us realize how blessed we are, and this mindset gives us joy. Nehemiah 8:10 says that the joy of the Lord is our strength.
Because it’s so important to be consistently grateful, I want to share a few simple ways we can make an attitude of gratitude a daily habit.
Remember Your Blessings
As I lay in bed one morning several years ago, I thought about people who are unable to simply wake up, get out of bed, and begin their day because they use a wheelchair or have other limitations that prevent them from doing so. I started thanking God that I could walk, talk, see, and hear—abilities for which I had not thanked Him before.
We may take these and other abilities for granted, but they are great blessings, and we should thank God for them. In fact, I think we would greatly miss most of the things we do easily day after day, without giving them much thought, if we were unable to do them.
As that morning went on, I thought of how nice it is to have hot and cold running water in my home, a warm robe to wear when the house is chilly, and a furnace with a thermostat that can easily be adjusted to make my surroundings warmer in a matter of a few minutes. When I got dressed, I had multiple outfits to choose from and many pairs of shoes. It was barely 8am and I had already found at least 100 things for which to be thankful—things I normally took for granted simply because they were always available.
The apostle Paul says we should be always giving thanks to God the Father for everything (Ephesians 5:20 NIV). I believe our joy will increase dramatically if we begin to notice our blessings rather than assume they will always be readily available to us.
The truth is it’s not happy people who are thankful—it’s thankful people who are happy.
Share the Joy
Being thankful not only makes you happier, but it affects others in powerful ways. The way to develop the best in people is through encouragement and appreciation. In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, the apostle Paul says: Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. On the other hand, the way to get the worst from people is through continually bringing up their faults without mentioning the things they do well.
Expressions of gratitude and encouragement build the spirit (the inner being) and strengthen people to try harder than ever to be better, but faultfinding breaks the spirit and causes them to feel hopeless and give up. When you give someone encouragement, you give them the courage to keep pursuing their dreams and goals or to keep going during hard times and not give up.
Many people do thankless jobs that make life easier, cleaner, safer or better in other ways for the people around them. We should make an effort to thank those who clean our office buildings, the bathrooms in the stores where we shop, the workers who pick up our garbage, and so on.
My daughter once bought a thank-you card and a gift card to a restaurant and gave it to the garbage collector when he came to pick up her trash. I’m sure there are countless ways we could encourage people through simple words of appreciation and acts of kindness if we would think creatively.
Romans 14:19 is another great scripture that tells us to aim for and eagerly pursue what makes for harmony and for mutual upbuilding (edification and development) of one another (AMPC).
There are many practical ways to encourage people or thank them for what they do in the everyday, ordinary aspects of life. Here are a few specific examples of ways you can do that:
- Thank the people who deliver mail or packages to your home safely.
- Encourage a single mother by telling her she is special and giving her a gift card for a manicure. Then offer to babysit while she has it done.
- Thank the person who checks out your items at the grocery store.
- hank the driver of the bus or taxi for getting you to your destination safely.
- Ask an elderly neighbor if you can run any errands or take care of any household chores for them. Even changing a light bulb or an air filter could be helpful and encouraging to someone.
- Buy a meal for a member of the armed services or someone else who keeps your neighborhood or country safe and say, “I just wanted you to know I appreciate what you do for us.”
- Offer cold water to the people who take care of your lawn during hot weather, and thank them for making it look nice.
- When you have received good service in a restaurant, in addition to recognizing it with a nice tip, consider also saying, “We really appreciate the good service you’ve given us today.”
I challenge you to use your creativity and find other ways to bless the people around you. Everyone needs to be encouraged at times, and we have the power to help others feel appreciated and uplifted simply by expressing thanks when we have the opportunity to do so.
I want to say it again: Thank you has power in it. It contains the power to encourage and to motivate a person to keep going, the power to lift them up and change what might have been a bad day into a good one.
Adapted from the book The Power of Thank You by Joyce Meyer. Copyright 2021 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.