If you do some research on gratitude, the data is really striking and remarkable. People who write in a gratitude journal actually sleep better and longer. When soldiers come home for war, those who practice gratitude have fewer instances of PTSD. People who are grateful are happier, get better grades, have better friendships, have more energy, and have fewer illnesses and less pain than others. Basically, it seems gratitude is the answer to life.
But it doesn’t simply come down to if you're grateful person or you're not. The question is, do you practice being grateful? If so, all those things we just mentioned are available to you! Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Do you ever find yourself asking what’s God's will for me? It's this: Be thankful in all circumstances. Another way to say it is to choose gratitude or to count your blessings. Take some time to look back over the past year and see how God has provided, the people he's placed in your life, and the new experiences you've had. Yes, we need to grieve our losses, but we can learn so much through the trials. Searching for the positives, even if it's little things, will remind you that God is still with you in the midst of tragedy. Gratitude is a choice. God's will is for you to be thankful in all circumstances.
Reflection/Discussion Question: What is a way that you can incorporate choosing gratitude in your life more regularly?