Be thankful by looking for the good in life

“I am training you to cultivate a thankful mind-set…As you learn these lessons, you are to teach them to others. I will open up the way before you, one step at a time.” Sarah Young – Jesus Calling

For every day given to us to live, we are given an equal number of days to be thankful. This morning as I was getting ready, I thought about what that means. How can we learn to cultivate a mind-set of thankfulness even on those days when our hearts are burdened with the harshness of life in general?

Sarah Young’s devotion today said that God is training us to have a spirit of thankfulness through the lessons He teaches us. In return we are to teach them to others.

This led me to think about some of the people in my life who have taught me so much. Just this week, my dear friend and mentor Carolyn found out that her cancer has now moved into the lining surrounding her heart. Carolyn, who has given me so much, is now facing yet another battle in her ongoing fight against this evil disease. She was the one who instilled the love of art into my spirit, and even in the midst of her medical issues, she still sends me weekly emails encouraging me in my writing and photography. She has taught me what it means to be thankful by looking for the good in life, even if it comes entwined with the bad.

Thankful

“You saved me in order that I might bear fruit to You. Thank You in advance Father, that You are going to use my life and cause it to bear fruit!” Beth Moore – Praying God’s Word Day by Day

It’s only fitting that the other devotional I read this morning would talk about God using our lives to bear fruit. Today is my dear friend Tammy’s 50th birthday. I met Tammy through very sad circumstances. Her beautiful 13 year old boy was dying from cancer, and like me, she had just started writing a blog about her experiences. Over the years, we have become very close friends, and I’ve been able to witness how she’s used her life since the death of her son, to teach others to appreciate and be thankful for each new hour God gives us. 

Be thankful

“Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” (Ephesians 6:13-18, MSG)

God placed us here for a reason. He has given each one of us a gift to use, and we are to use these gifts to help others.

There’s nothing perfect about any of us. We stumble, fall, stutter, and break. We become discouraged, confused, and beat down. We mess up, want to give up, and feel like a loser, but seemingly out of nowhere God sends someone to lift us back up. He plants that person in our lives for a reason, and just as their words, prayer, card, phone call, text, or other gift of hope renew us, we are in return asked to use them for someone else.

Find someone to reach out to today. Spread joy, and be thankful for the opportunity to give away His love.

Salina

Photos © Salina T Gibson

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