Thankfulness as our Perspective – Grateful anyway

In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Thankfulness as our Perspective – Grateful anyway

Yesterday we discussed thankfulness as a posture. Our posture affects our perspective. So, as we adopt a posture of thankfulness, we begin to see things differently. Like the psalmist in Psalm 136, as we begin from a posture of thanks, seeing the great works and attributes of God, it causes us to see even more things to be thankful for. We even begin to see reasons to be thankful where we may not have seen them before. Giving thanks is the gift that keeps on giving.

Today’s Scriptures show us that gratitude can change the way we see. When we look at our circumstances through a lens of thankfulness, it will change our perspective. It won’t necessarily change the situation, but it will change the way we see it, and therefore how we journey through it.

It means, like Habakkuk, that in even the most difficult of circumstances we can say, “yetwill I rejoice in the LORD.” This is not to suggest that we are ignoring or minimising the hard times or heartache we face, or even that we thank God for them, but that we would thank Him in and through them. Even if we can only see one tiny thing to be thankful for, that perspective will begin to permeate the way we see everything. It means that as we change our perspective, we begin to see everything differently.

Even Jesus, on the night that He was betrayed, knowing the heartbreak that was about to occur, and worse still the suffering He was about to endure; on that night, before it all, knowing it all, He gave thanks. It did not change His situation but perhaps, like us it allowed Him to see the joy set before Him rather than the grief and pain that awaited him.

When we begin to look with eyes of gratitude, we start to see the miraculous in the mundane, the beauty in the storm, the treasure in the trash. We can see the people who stayed not just the pain of those who betrayed us. We see the things we have perhaps been rescued from, not just the things we have lost or are “missing out” on. Thankfulness sees the way the grass seems greener after a thunderstorm and how stars seem to shine brighter in darkness and how sundown is as much a beginning as an end. Thankfulness sees what we have, rather than what we don’t; what we can do, rather than what we cannot; how far we have come, not just how far we have to go.

One sure way to help us do this is to fix our eyes on something, or Someone, that is unchanging, always good, always there, always loving. As we fix our eyes on Jesus, we fix our eyes! When we find it hard to see something to be thankful for, let’s look to Him. As the Scriptures say, “forget not all His benefits,“ and as the song, “Give Thanks,” echoes, “Oh my soul, remember the LORD, Your Redeemer. He is faithful.”

What is one situation you are facing that you could try to look at differently? Is there something good, even something tiny, that you can give thanks for in the midst of it? Try looking through a lens of gratitude and watch how it changes the way you see.

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, Neither shall fruit be in the vines; The labour of the olive shall fail, And the fields shall yield no meat; The flock shall be cut off from the fold, And there shall be no herd in the stalls: 18Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. 19The LORD God is my strength, And he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, And he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.

Habakkuk 3:17-19

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