While I was all pumped to begin a month of gratitude, due to life and other events, I am a week behind. But, let’s not dwell on the past, moving on to the present.
First post of the Cultivating Gratitude Series. What does cultivating gratitude mean? It means to open our heart to God’s generosity in our lives as we recognize the gifts in our life. Gratitude pulls us out of selfishness and opens us to be more connected to others. And it shifts our minds and hearts to a positive perspective.
But it so easy to fall into the pit of doom and gloom. Because being thankful means we are happy and even content. And sometimes that is the last thing we feel like doing.
Right now, there might not seem like there is a lot to be thankful for. But, contrary to popular belief and thought, God is still in control and still has the world in His Almighty Hand.
When we have the kiddos over, two of them have a routine with Grandma, that you don’t mess with. They read books and sing out of a song book that I had when I was little. One of the songs is ‘He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.’ I don’t how many verses that song has, but the words are so simple, yet has a powerful message. God has everything in the world in His hand.
This past year has been one shocking trail after another. I think we all can agree that it feels like the world has turned upside down.
It feels like madness, a nightmare that we all want to wake up from. We want things to get back to normal, but you know what, the world is still turning, and do you know how? Because an Almighty God is keeping the world turning on its axis.
And God is keeping everything together. Colossians 1 says that God holds creation together.
Colossians 1:16-17 says
16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
17And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
Think of everything God has created, from the seeds planted in the soil, to animals, to the millions of stars above us, God is holding it all together.
He is also holding us together, because we are His creation. Ephesians 2:10 says
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus… God created us in His image, we are His creation, so He is also holding us together, and He is holding our hand. Isaiah 41:10 says
Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
The Lord holds our right hand and says “do not fear”. There are so many things we can be thankful for in that one verse.
First is says fear not, because I, meaning God, am with you. There has never been a moment God has not been with us. We may have felt like God turned His back on us, but He never has and never will. And because of that, we should not be dismayed, we will be strengthened, He will help us, and He will uphold us with His righteous hand.
That in itself, should blow the mind a bit. God, the creator of the universe, holding our hand. The Lord holds our right hand. The hands of God are powerful.
Isaiah 48:13 says that hands of God has laid the foundation of the earth, and His right hand stretched out the heavens.
Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth, And My right hand has stretched out the heavens; When I call to them, They stand up together.
Those same hands, the ones that put each star in place, the ones that made us, and that sent His only Son to die for us, those hands hold ours. And he says “do not fear.”
With that being said, why are we worrying? Why are we panicking? Why can’t we find something to be grateful for? What is happening today did not take God by surprise. He knows what is happening, so we need to leave it in His all-powerful hands.
Because with those hands, He holds ours and keeps creation together. We may feel that everything is hopeless, but the world is still turning, God is still in control, so don’t lose heart and waste your time worrying.
When we worry, and dwell on the bad, we miss out on things. Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks, not complain. These last two months of the year are part of a very special time. It is a time of celebration, thanksgiving, cheer, happiness and joy. Our hearts need to be filled with those emotions, not of doom, gloom, and world-ending emotions.
Focus on the good and the things to be thankful for. We have a God on our side who loves us, forgives us, has unlimited mercy and grace, cares for us, is always patient with us, who has given us His word for guidance and peace.
Everything right there should fill our hearts with thankfulness. And best of all, we can cast all your worries on the One who cares for you. And we do not have to be anxious about anything.
…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. – I Peter 5:7
We get up every day, do our daily do’s, eat, reply to those emails, shop, spend time with family, the world is still turning. Our lives go on.
We just have to be courageous knowing God is holding everything together, and do not worry.
Easier said then done, I know. But what do you want your heart to be filled with come the season of giving thanks, and time to celebrate Jesus coming to earth as a babe; sorrow, doom and gloom? Or thankfulness, joy, and gratefulness?
The choice is up to you.