Give Thanks, Get Joy

Your Attitude of Gratitude Produces Benefits All Around

What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?

Studies show that good things come from having an attitude of gratitude. A thankful spirit can produce physical, mental, and social benefits. And people are putting it to the test! More often than ever, social media posts are sprinkled with lists of gratitude. People are practicing the art of journaling, tallying, and recording the good in their lives. Even celebrities like Oprah are touting the benefits: “Sixteen years ago, I started a gratitude journal, and I will have to say, it was the single most important thing I believe I’ve ever done,” she says.

What’s the result of being thankful? More joy. Cultivating an appreciation for the blessings of life leads to a noticeable difference in one’s overall countenance.

It’s no surprise, then, that a grateful heart is God’s idea—and something he asks us to do in his Word. When we honor him with our thanksgiving and praise, it actually benefits us, his creation! Here are some examples from Scripture:

Thankfulness is God’s desire for us.

“Be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Thankfulness refreshes our focus.

“How good it is to give thanks to you, O Lord, to sing in your honor, O Most High God, to proclaim your constant love every morning and your faithfulness every night, with the music of stringed instruments and with melody on the harp. Your mighty deeds, O Lord, make me glad; because of what you have done, I sing for joy. How great are your actions, Lord! How deep are your thoughts!”

Psalm 92:1-5

Thankfulness brings peace.

“Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7

Thankfulness does the body good.

“Being cheerful keeps you healthy.”
Proverbs 17:22

Start Giving Thanks Each Day

Why not use this Thanksgiving season to start a habit of daily gratitude? Here are some practical ways to give thanks and get joy in your everyday life.

  1. Start your own gratitude journal. With a book or digital device, notice five good things each day and write them down. It can be anything—a rainbow in the sky, the smell of a fresh cup of coffee, or the smile from a store clerk. Record these special moments and soon you’ll have a list of blessings to thank God for.
  2. Start a 14-day Thanksgiving Scripture Journey. Read a praise-focused Bible passage each day and discover more about the One who gives us all things.
  3. Check out other Thanksgiving activity ideas like notes, posters, and placemats that can encourage the practice of giving thanks while bringing a smile to those around you.

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