“If there was ever a secret for unleashing God’s powerful peace in a situation, it’s developing a heart of true thanksgiving.”
In previous posts, I’ve written about the five tools for having an emotionally healthy heart. The tools of confession and repentance restore our hearts when there’s sin. Forgiveness aids us when we’ve been hurt or offended. Grieving heals our hearts when we have loss and disappointment. And to overcome deception and believing lies from the enemy, we need to utilize the tool of telling ourselves God’s truth. There is one more life-changing tool; the super tool of thanksgiving. Unlike the others that help specific attacks on our hearts, having a grateful heart is like an umbrella tool, providing wholeness for each situation we may encounter.
It’s been scientifically proven that having a heart of gratitude reduces toxic emotions such as bitterness, resentment, envy, and regret. Being thankful improves our sleep and immunity while decreasing depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. Gratitude boosts the neurotransmitter serotonin, which activates dopamine, our brain’s pleasure chemical. Those are great motivators to having grateful hearts, but 1 Thessalonians 5:18 makes it clear that it’s an issue of obedience. “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Giving God thanks is a choice, an act of our will. Being thankful allows us to reframe the circumstance; by faith, we believe and place our trust in God and His sovereignty. Thanksgiving requires humility and dependence upon God to come through for us, which restores our hope.
Having an attitude of gratitude changes our focus away from sin, hurt, loss, or deception and turns our gaze back upon the Healer. When we’re thankful we are agreeing with who God is and what He can do.
Hebrews 13:15 encourages us to give God a sacrifice of praise. Giving thanks while we’re experiencing sorrow is an offering we give to God and that act of worship is one way we honor Him. Praising God over our circumstances acknowledges He is greater and more important than what is going on in our lives. Thanksgiving not only restores our hearts, but it’s also a way we express our love and devotion to God.
“God is in control, and therefore in EVERYTHING I can give thanks – not because of the situation but because of the One who directs and rules over it.”
This week while celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday, spend time daily using the super tool of thanksgiving. Notice how it releases healing to your heart.