Graditude, Joy, and Positivity for Followers of God
“Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is Yah’s will for you in Yahshua the Messiah.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Gratitude and rejoicing
I have often spent time wondering about the will of God and how it relates to my life. What college to go to? Should I get a job? Should I stay at home? Should I move? I’m not alone.
When we think of the will of Yah, it’s often an abstract and undefined picture of our future. We think of it that way but what’s interesting to me is that there are several verses in the scripture that actually spell out God’s will for his people.
And this one in Thessalonians 5 is an example of one of those verses.
Gratitude in all circumstances is part of the will that Yah has for us. And it is so beneficial for us. We are being told to show joy and enthusiasm in all circumstances. We are being told to be thankful in all circumstances. Both of these directly effect our mood and mental state.
Practicing gratitude and joy on a regular basis keeps your mind focused on the blessings and happiness in your life. It keeps Yah at the forefront of our minds by crediting him for all the good. Contemplating on all of those good things puts us in a positive mindset.
“Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.” – Helen Keller
It’s no secret that positive people are generally more productive and confident. They have better mental states and are happier. When you’re positively approaching a problem in work or in life, you’re better able to solve it. Negativity just doesn’t create productivity.
Living in today’s world makes it really easy to focus on everything we don’t have; to hone in on all the problems; everything that has gone wrong in life. But adding up how much I don’t have and feeling discouraged by it only limits me to discouragement. You get stuck there and your brain gets in a habit of being negative. Negativity doesn’t produce action or improvement. All it produces is stagnant sadness.
“Ingratitude produces a hunger that you can never satisfy. Your eyes will always be looking. And once you achieve something, you won’t even notice it, because of the distraction of something new to desire.” – Danielle Kerr
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you’ll never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey
But the scriptures are calling us to the complete opposite of that. Gratitude can change your life by changing your focal point. And this is all part of the will of Yahweh for his people. His special people. The people that he brought out of Egypt, the people he taught his ways, the people Yahweh loves.
Everything he does and asks of us is good for us.
So how can we practice gratefulness regularly? I’ve listed below the 4 ways that help me stay grateful.
1. Create a gratitude journal
Write down what you are thankful for. This can be something you do every night or every week. Whenever you get a moment, write it down. Having it in writing creates a visual. You create something concrete to remind you of the goodness in your life. After you’ve built up a few pages, reading it all together can be really fun.
2. Pay attention to the seemingly small things
Things like clean water, good food, and family. Family, especially. We take them for granted because we expect them to always be there like they always have been. Imagining if something or someone wasn’t there will push you into perspective. You can affirm family by making sure they know you are grateful. Express your thanks to them.
3. Wake up every morning and verbally thank Yahweh
Thank him for at least 5 people, opportunities, or things in your life that mean a lot to you. Starting your day with gratitude puts you in a positive state, which makes for a better day.
one last thing…
Oh, and don’t forget to thank yourself as well. I believe that Yah created all of us capable and amazing human beings. Our life experiences can either remind us of that or they can persuade us otherwise.
If you’ve had trouble with negative thoughts, depression, or anything that has just kept you down, make sure to give yourself a pat on the back when you succeed. Even if it’s just a small success. You can do all things through Yahshua, who strengthens you. And every little victory is proof of that.