I know for most of us 2020 has been a doozy. Surprises, challenges and hardships leading to mental and emotional issues no longer surprise us. For my family, physical and spiritual crisis, job issues, and a cancer scare have compounded the communal stress and anxiety of an unprecedented (anyone tired of that word yet?) year. I know many of you could add your own hard stuff to this list.
I have found joy – the command to rejoice always – particularly challenging. So I am very intentionally searching for inspiration toward gratitude and a cheerful heart. When King David was fleeing his son, who was trying to kill him (I’m not sure it gets tougher than that!), David called out to God, But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. Psalm 3:3 NIV If David could recognize all God does for Him in that situation, I can allow Him to pick my chin up in all this.
Maybe you could use a little help in this area too? I collected some scripture and quotes that help me put things in perspective and feel joy – thankfulness, even. So for your reading and meditating pleasure:
(from the NIV unless otherwise noted)
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:8-9
The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart triumphs, And with my song I shall thank Him. Psalm 28:7 NASB
I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30
Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, Psalm 50:14
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:4
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. Psalm 95:1-3
(not Holy scripture, but still good!)
“Gratitude is the heart’s memory”. – French Proverb
“When a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity.” – Elie Wiesel (concentration camp survivor)
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy
“Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas; they are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them.” Russell H. Conwell
“Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” Voltaire
“Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty.” Doris Day
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melody Beattie
“We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.” H A Ironside
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