Have you noticed that most things in life worth doing are not done easily?
Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty. . . . I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
It’s not easy to get a college degree. It’s not easy to develop and maintain a healthy marriage. It’s not easy to raise children. It’s not easy to keep that job. It’s not always easy . . . to give thanks.
Sometimes the clouds cover the sun, but we choose to give thanks anyway. Sometimes chaos overwhelms peace, but we choose to give thanks anyway. Sometimes pain overpowers comfort, but we choose to give thanks anyway.
Gratitude is a choice we make, as are all the virtues. Love is an act of the will. Joy is an act of the will. Peace is an act of the will. Patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are all choices we make in spite of the world around us and the feelings inside us (Galatians 5:22-23).
I choose to believe, even when doubts flood my soul. I choose to give thanks, even when my heart doesn’t feel grateful. I choose to worship, even when my voice doesn’t want to sing. I choose to serve our Lord Jesus Christ, even when I would prefer to serve myself.
“Choose you this day whom you will serve. . . . But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
This week of Thanksgiving, let us choose to “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Regardless of what you face right now, choose to “give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever” (Psalm 106:1).
Gratitude unlocks the door to a heart of contentment, for contentment is never found in abundance alone. Contentment flows from the abundance of Jesus Christ. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am” (Philippians 4:11).
To find contentment, we must first develop grateful hearts.
The choice is yours. I pray you will choose gratitude.
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings” (William Arthur Ward).