Whatever you’re currently facing or have faced: There is joy in cultivating gratitude.
Brene Brown suggests that practicing gratitude invites joy into your life. Cultivating. Practicing. Those are action oriented words…that means this is going to take some effort on our part. We aren’t going to wake up and roll out of bed one morning with grateful hearts if we aren’t laying the groundwork today. In short: we all can get better at gratitude.
Gratitude is not just some antidote to worry or a little sugar we sprinkle on top of our sorrow. It’s a fundamental ingredient to enduring.
This is why you see people tearfully celebrate at a funeral. This is why stories and laughter can happen in between the waves of grief and anxiety. This is why friends can laugh, cry, and worship together all within the same night.
When we intentionally recall and remember the many blessings of the Eternal One who has lavished His love upon us, God stretches our finite thinking.
Hear me – this isn’t the power of positive thinking and I’m not trying to help you figure out how to get healthy and wealthy. Gratitude is a choice, a way of looking at the world and intentionally focusing on Jesus. When we realize what God has already done and will do, it leads us to a deeper joy. Yes, this is an act of resistance against despair and death. It’s our way of crying out in a broken world, God I will not give in and I will not forget you.
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
When you hide in the presence of God you start to catch a glimpse of His very presence, His glory, the weight of His power and goodness around you. Part of cultivating joy and living with hope in the middle of the brokenness is becoming aware of His goodness.
But in the face of this not-yet-healed world, we will stand with our eyes locked on the God who came for us.
For the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
He will show us the power of His glory, the presence of His Spirit and the victory of His Son. And until that glorious day, we’ll keep trusting, listening, and learning. And all the while we can get better at this gratitude business and see our joy grow and notice the mighty power that is closer than we first thought.
There is joy in realizing you’re not alone. Let’s keep learning from each other how to do this. Share with others the ways God is meeting you and the promises you’re seeing upheld. Encourage the people around you to join the daily gratitude challenge.
Start a revolution of gratitude and joy. Our world needs this.
Daily Gratitude Challenge
A spin on the 1-2-3-4 challenge
- Set an alarm for 12:34 each day and take a minute or two to give thanks. Pray. Journal. Share with a friend. In a simple but intentional act, create a daily habit of expressing gratitude towards God. Then watch and see how your attitude, your joy, your heart begins to change in response.