It is very easy to take things for granted — to assume that all that we have and experience, especially the good things, are simply a fact of life. However, as followers of Christ, we know that "every good and perfect gift is from above" (James 1:17). They are graciously given to us by our loving Heavenly Father.
The suggestions and resources provided below are just a few ways to help you focus on cultivating a heart of gratitude in November. Whether using these or your own ideas, be intentional about expressing thanks — to God or to others. Leading up to the Thanksgiving Day holiday, develop a discipline of thanksgiving to last throughout the year!
Here are a few specific things you can do throughout the month that are designed to turn your heart toward gratitude and to help you express thanks along the way.
On social media, share what you're grateful for using the hashtag #HFBCThanks. It could be your family, your job, your neighbor, your Life Bible Study — anything you're thankful for! If you're thanking a person or group who is also on social media, be sure to tag them so they can see it, too.
Keep a “gratitude journal” and write down three things you’re grateful for every morning to start your day focused on giving thanks. When things don't go your way during the day, having started the morning focusing on your blessings will help keep the right perspective.
Thank you notes almost seem like a lost art — especially hand-written ones! Keep a stack of blank notecards handy (maybe at the kitchen table) and write note to people to thank them for something they've done or simply for the role they play in your life. A quick text message in the middle of the day could provide the same encouragement — to you and to them!
Spend time with family or friends talking about the material blessings you enjoy or take for granted on a regular basis, or for events/provisions over the past year where God has clearly “shown up and shown off.” Pray together and thank God for those things. Then, identify ONE or TWO of those blessings (food, shelter, clothing, health, etc.) and come up with a creative way to share or gift that blessing to someone in need. Examples:
There are several verses that talk about thankfulness. Here are a few to memorize. What other ones can you find?
Beyond short verses, there are longer passages in the Bible that focus on giving thanks. As you read these, ask God what truths you can apply in your life.
We want to hear your suggestions for how to develop and maintain a grateful heart this month (and beyond). Share your ideas with us using the short form below.
Below, Pastor Gregg takes a deeper look at 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 — "Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
Our NextGen Ministries offer these suggestions for preschoolers, children, and students as you guide them in the discipline of being grateful.