Monday, September 6, 2021

Being Thankful

 Growing up in church, memorizing memory verses was the 'currency' in Sunday School.  If one memorized enough memory verses you got a prize and a small bit of notoriety.  Similarly in Bible Camp in the summer, if enough people in your cabin memorized a verse it helped you all in the quest to become the winning cabin for the week.

God's Word is powerful and alive, and having it memorized has helped me many times in my life.  'Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.'  Many of the verses I memorized were from the King James Version.  God has used those memorized verses to help me avoid sin, be less anxious, give me guidance and direction, and even help me grow in how to talk and commune with Him.

Something interesting happened recently.  I discovered I'd been 'missing' a piece of a verse I regularly go over in my mind.  I often return to Philippians 4:6-7 during my week, quoting it in my head or when I'm praying in the morning.  But in the last couple weeks I realized I had been remembering/quoting it wrong - for years!   All that time I had been recalling it in my mind and in my prayers as 'Be anxious for nothing, but in everything through prayer and supplication make your requests known to God.  And the God of peace that passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.'  I had been missing a couple of important words:  'with thanksgiving.'

The inclusion of this small phrase in that verse has been rather revolutionary for me.  When I'm thankful, my perspective changes.  My eyes are opened to more of what God is giving me, doing for me, and His involvement in my life.  When I consider my life with a thankful heart, my anxiety decreases, my attitude changes, I complain less in my mind, I enjoy life more, and I become more God focused.  

Being thankful changes my perspective
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Its funny how you can hear talks and read books that encourage you to be thankful, and think to yourself 'Yup, I do that.'  But being intentionally thankful and go looking for things to be thankful about is, I'm finding, something different.  Its changing my outlook and life and my attitude towards God.

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