You’ve probably read a few Thanksgiving-Is-Right-Around-The-Corner-so-Be-Thankful blog posts. Giving thanks for your blessings, for gifts and for freedoms is the right thing to do. But I’d like to expand your thinking to realize that it’s SO MUCH MORE!
I think we can become numb to the benefits of giving thanks that go way beyond a warm fuzzy feeling in our hearts. Giving thanks provides very real, tangible benefits to the one who expresses gratitude – especially when that gratitude is being expressed to the One who provides ALL of our blessings.
Ann Voskamp wrote a book entitled One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. In her book she makes some amazing claims about gratitude. Her research led her to the discovery that those who write down just three things they are grateful for every day increased their well-being by 25 percent. But don’t just take her word for it. Check out this article on the Huffington Post, “The Neuroscience of Why Gratitude Makes Us Healthier.” It states that studies have concluded the regular expression of gratitude has profound impacts on our health, our mood and even the survival of our marriages.
Daniel didn’t have the benefit of reports from the Huffington Post, but he was very familiar with the stories of the miracles God performed for His people. That’s most likely why he refused to waver from his routine of prayer and giving thanks to God, even when a decree was issued that anyone who prayed to anyone except the king would be thrown into the lions’ den.
Daniel 6:10 tells us “Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.”
What happened next? Daniel spent a night in the lions’ den and came out the next morning without a single scratch because God had closed the mouths of the lions. His accusers were not as fortunate.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us to “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” God gives us these commands for very good reasons – they help us stay connected to Him. It’s that connection that brings us greater health, clarity, abundance and solutions even in the midst of life’s greatest challenges.
All you have to do is write three things that you are grateful for each day. Give it a try. What three things are you grateful for today?