We know many reasons why we should be a grateful people. Perhaps most obvious is the fact that we were commanded to give thanks always. First Thessalonians 5:18 says,
Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
But what if God's will has a bonus attached to obedience (as, frankly, He so often does)? Check out what I read a couple of days ago:
He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God. --Psalm 50:23
Wow. Check that out. Thanksgiving does two things, according to this passage. One, it honors God. This is nothing to breeze over. Is not part of our mission in life to bring honor to His name?
However, it was the second one that really struck me. Giving thanks prepares the way for God to move in our lives. There is something in my life that I am almost daily asking God to deliver me from. I need His salvation in this area, for I don't see a way out on my own. I want to be fully prepared for God to move in my life, and I suddenly realized that, while I am not an ungrateful person, I should be more focused on giving thanks!
I have started a little 3x5 card file. At the top is the date (e.g., July 26), and then on the first line, I list the year. Next to that, I write the highlights of the day, and for fun, the weather. I fill 3-4 lines, and plan to write on the same card on the same date for the next four years, at which point I'll start a new card.
The cards are a simple way to chronicle my life, and they doesn't stress me out like writing in a journal does. Journals have too much space, and I feel like I should write the whole story, and then I get overwhelmed and just don't write. The cards force me to identify the main forces and events of the day. It'll be interesting to see the comparisons when next year comes around.
Anyway, in response to this verse and also a sermon I heard recently, I've decided to add one line to each entry, titled TF--Thankful For... This means that at least at one point every day, I will be consciously thankful for something God is doing/has provided in my life. So far, I find that the struggle is to narrow it down to just one line. :-)
Just thought I'd share that thought with you. Thankfulness as a doorway to God's salvation in my life. That's a door I want unlocked and open!