In the past few days, I’ve been evaluating myself and my thoughts for December and this Holiday Season.
See, in the past years, the fourth quarter of the year would be one of mixed emotions for me, at best. There would be pressure to try to finish what I started months ago. There would be condemnation for holding off on what I held off on even starting, even condemnation for not acting on what I said I would do as far back as the year before. There would be pressure to try to do as much as I can to finish the year on a high note; I’d be scrambling, first to do what I could, and then second to find the right words to say to cover up my procrastination and to make it public that I was at peace.
For some reason, it hasn’t been that way for the fourth quarter of this year, 2022. Of course, the question had to be asked – what was different about this year? Well, it came down to two things – I wrote more, and I spoke more. I embarked on a personal project to write the equivalent of a thousand words per day, and though I was not consistent in the daily writing, I am, as of today, very close to my goal, with just 10,000 words left. I also continued speaking every Sunday at the ministry I manage, and as early as quarter 3 of this year, I’ve also started speaking every Friday, to the juniors and seniors of our church’s school branch.
I suppose I’ve come to the realization (that is, in light of the recent revelation on thankfulness and gratitude) that the more I spoke, and the more I wrote, the more I was inadvertently giving thanks, and therefore rejoicing and praying; And with that said, it appears as if I’ve been more in tune with the will of God (as it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) than the 2-3 years before this one. That there was more of a guess but what’s less of an assumption and more of a certainty is how I feel… and I must say, again, I’m feeling at peace, in these critical days crossing over from November to December.
It’s something that I never thought I’d put together at any time in the past – a possible link between confidence and gratitude.
See, up to this point I’ve been more fixated on the other side of the spectrum, which focuses more on the mindset of thanksgiving when things happen to us – the likely link between peace and gratitude. I say I was more focused on this considering it was the bulk of what I was talking about when we were in quarter 3 of this year, when I was (supposedly) talking about peace. We’ve established that it’s a peace that is present in the worst of times, and not only is it present and supporting and assuring, but this peace that we have during times when the rest of the world is sure to be shocked and paralyzed – it’s a peace so overflowing that we respond in it.
To see a positive link between confidence and gratitude is to consider that our thanksgiving is not only essential in our reactions, but also in the actions we take. It’s just as much as propelling force as it is a secure anchor.
I see this is all coming from that last part of 1 Thessalonians 5:18, where it not only says that we give thanks in everything, but more importantly, ‘for it is the will of God for you in Jesus Christ.’
Now first off, again, it says to give thanks in everything – everything that’s done to us, and everything that leads us to do something. Give thanks in everything, meaning in all the actions done to us, and in all the actions we do or are about to do. Second, it says clear as day, that our thanksgiving is the will of God.
Too often we who say we believe in Christ find ourselves taking more time than usual to try to figure God’s will out in any situation. And I’m not questioning our intentions – of course, we’re under the mindset, the desire to do everything according to His will, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I am merely proposing that we take our propensity to give thanks to God in our responding, and be just as quick to thank God in our acting as well. And maybe in the midst of our thanksgiving, we also encounter factors and considerations that we may have not seen had we gone straight to consideration of pros and cons, and decision making.
And let me go further, because I am fully aware that there will be times that we would not have the convenience of time to thank God in every decision we make; I propose that our default state, as the body of Christ, is to be in a mindset of constant thankfulness. What they call in other familiar articles and pieces – an attitude of gratitude.
Once I said that in every situation, there is always a reason to give thanks. And I still maintain that… but I think, in light of what we’re talking about here, that we could go even further. How? Well, by saying, and considering that even in times where there is no situation at all, and in the idle times, our minds may wander, but we will always have the option, the benefit, and the opportunity to give thanks.
And sure, I make it sound like it’s something that we do, and it’s something we ought to be intentional about. I don’t disagree with that, but I go back to us considering how God’s glory is present in all creation. It’s important for us to keep that in mind, because what it means for us in the body of Christ is that we are not only seeing God’s glory, but we also see God’s goodness in all creation – meaning every single moment, whether there is escalation of activity or no movement at all, every single moment – every breath, every beat of our hearts is a reminder of God’s goodness, and we are therefore always in a position to give thanks.
This gratitude that we have is therefore active and passive, present in our intentions, and present in our idleness. It speaks to the faithfulness of the Holy Spirit whom we possess, in whom we move, and in whom we rest.
And I would be lying if I said that gratitude had nothing to do with me recovering from all the heartbreak and frustration I’ve encountered this year. This was true, but I have to say that it was also in gratitude that I went forth – well, in this case, to write and to speak, but also to do each and every other thing that prospered or fizzled for me, this year.
I wrote earlier on how I was considering things to pass on from this year to the new year, besides my Spotify Top 100… and I believe one thing is to give thanks unto action… gratitude unto confidence.
Thank You, Lord.
Until the next post, God bless you.
Thank GOD For Everything in my Life
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