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Most people would agree that we have a lot to be thankful for. After all, many of us live a lifestyle full of conveniences. We live in comfortable homes, wear nice clothes, and have reliable transportation. We have no shortage of clean water or healthy food. We have access to quality healthcare and education, and basically live a good life with a lot of freedom, safety and security.
While it’s easy to take these wonderful blessings for granted—and sometimes get into the bad habit of focusing on what we don’t have—millions of people around the world live without the basic necessities of life.
I’ll never forget the time one of our sons went on a weekend outreach where a team of people were doing ministry with the homeless. It was obvious that the experience touched him deeply because he called me and said, “If I ever complain again, please knock me down for being so stupid!” He was appalled over the things he had murmured about in the past once he saw, by comparison, how some people were living.
Think about it: Those without a place to live would love to have a house to clean, yet a homeowner is more likely to complain about cleaning their home. A person without any transportation dreams of having a car to drive, while someone who owns a car is more likely to complain about the cost of regular maintenance and unexpected repairs.
It is so easy to forget how blessed we are! Maintaining an attitude of gratitude is something we need to do on purpose.
One of the best things we can do throughout the day is praise God while we work. No matter what you’re trying to build—your home, your marriage, your business, financial security, or even an exercise plan—you can worship God as you work.
Another thing we can learn to do is enjoy the seemingly insignificant blessings that we often overlook...little things like getting dressed, driving to work, going to the grocery store, sending emails, and hundreds of other routine activities of life. It’s where the majority of our time goes, so why not learn to appreciate and enjoy them?
Choosing an attitude of thanksgiving not only honors God…it’s good for us!
Did you know that when we give God praise, it brings us closer in our relationship to Him? The Bible says that God inhabits the praises of His people (see Psalm 22:3).
At my conferences, I make sure to be in the service as soon as the praise and worship begins because I love to be in God's presence. In fact, before I speak to an audience, I make sure I have entered into praise and worship. I want to fix my thoughts on God, thank Him for what He’s done in my life and for the words He’s giving me to speak, and I want to give Him praise for everything else He’s going to do.
We need to praise God because we love Him. It actually draws us closer to Him, which helps us hear the Word clearly, receive it, and hold on to it through faith.
The truth is, God doesn’t need our praise or approval. We don’t have to thank Him in order to make Him happy, to satisfy some spiritual requirement, or to try to get Him to do something else for us. Giving thanks throughout the day is simply a way to show God how grateful we are for who He is.
Regularly giving thanks to God not only helps us fully realize how He’s working in our lives, it gives us a new perspective—our mind is renewed, our attitude is improved, and we are filled with joy (see Psalm 16:11).
I like to think of praise as a prayer that naturally flows out of us. It’s a thankful heart attitude that says, “I love You, Lord. I worship You. I can’t do this without You. I need Your help today.”
Each moment that we’re given is a precious gift from God. We can choose to have a thankful attitude and live each moment full of joy…simply because God is good.