My goal is to carefully add one area of life each week until I have added intentional gratitude to every part of my life.
Great idea, right?
Until January started with an attack on my mood and my attitude. I plodded through days marked with sad anniversaries. I was anxious about aches and pains, and well it’s January in the Midwest. Gray and cold. Yuck.
My state of mind definitely did not match my good intentions.
But intentional gratitude is not about my mood or emotions. My circumstances or memories.
Intentional gratitude is:
- Thanking God in all things – not just the good and happy, but also the hard and sad. Life experiences which draw us closer and push us to find our strength and hope in Him.
Give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:20)
- Trusting God’s love – not because He works things out the way we want but because He works them out for our good. Even when our current circumstances leave us doubting – we can trust that He is faithful to His promises to love us.
Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. (Ephesians 3:17)
- Trusting God’s wisdom – not because we understand, but because He displays His wisdom throughout Scripture and because we have seen evidence of His wisdom in our lives and the lives of others who trust Him.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. (Romans 8:28)
- Believing our feelings will follow – not because we are able to will ourselves to have better attitudes, but because God is able to change us.
Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. (Romans 12:2)
- Doing for and helping others – not for credit or to receive God’s approval, but because we are so grateful for all He has given us.
He helps us in all our troubles, so that we are able to help others who have all kinds of troubles, using the same help that we ourselves have received from God. (2 Corinthians 1:4)