It’s Thanksgiving week and I am so excited to talk about today’s topic! Last week I shared seven tips I have used to beat bouts of depression and as I complained to a friend later on about a problem I was having she reminded me to give thanks…
“In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”1 Thessalonians 5:18
For some reason this command from scripture had completely escaped my mind for a time. She reminded me to thank God for the situation and it hit me that this was actually one of the greatest tactics I have used to fight all negative feelings, including depression. I had gotten so caught up in the busyness of life that I forgot about the most important discipline of being a Christian, one thing that gives us life on earth! Of course the greatest commands are to love God and others, but I feel this one command can be the difference between enjoying life and just making it through life. No wonder my attitude has been one of irritation lately!
So how do we practice giving thanks in a way that makes us fulfilled and content, while also combating negative thoughts?
Well, it really depends on your individual personality and life situations. God looks at the heart and He made each one of us unique and different, so my way of giving thanks may not necessarily be the same as the way you will do it. However I have found that using thanksgiving as a springboard during a difficult situation can draw us into a lovely conversation with our Lord at any time of the day.
Here is an example…
Let’s say Susie walks out of the grocery store and within a few feet from the door both bags in her hand suddenly rip and all they contain is dropped on the pavement beside her. The first thing most of us would probably do is get annoyed or frustrated, but that’s not the way Susie does it. She immediately goes to God in prayer and thanks Him for the groceries as she bends over to pick them up. You see, Susie’s outlook on life is not that the cans of beans are now starting to roll away, but rather that God has given her money for the groceries, a car to get her to the store, gas to put in the car, a beautiful sunny sky to drive under, and a family to feed when she gets home. See the difference?
Giving thanks will not usually change your circumstances but it will most definitely change your attitude, and that mixed with prayer will fill you with peace and keep your mind focused on Christ, which is well worth the effort in having.
As you busy yourself with all the holiday preparation, consider this:
God turns everything in a Christian’s life for good.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”Romans 8:28
When Susie’s bags ripped she had two options:
1. She could have thrown a mini fit in her mind and frustratingly started picking up her items, wondering how she was going to get her groceries to the car now that the bags where ripped and why the kids ate so much food that she had to be out at the store already anyway, or why people where walking right by her not even offering to help… or
2. She could have began thanking God that she had groceries, she had children, she could be a witness to all those around her, she could be humble and ask for help…
Don’t try to rid your mind of negativity, rather fill it with thanksgiving to God so that there is no room for negative thoughts. It’s easier to create a habit of thanksgiving than to break a habit of stinking thinking. And this goes for while you are running too! It works wonders!
I love ya’ll and pray you have a blessed holiday!
Until next time, Happy Running!!