“Joyfully giving thanks to the Father…” Colossians 1:12
We are looking at JOY this week in the Advent season, and the many sources of joy that God has given to us. In our culture, depression and anxiety seem to be the most significant issue of the day. We look around our world, even around our own community, and find so much pain, anger, sadness and despair. Of course there are medical causes for depression, but how much is a reflection of the darkness of this world.
What is one of the best ways to experience joy? Give thanks! A grateful heart is a joyful heart, and the more we focus on the blessings of God, the greater our joy grows. An “attitude of gratitude” lifts our hearts to see how good our gracious our God is.
What can we joyfully give thanks for?
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16. I am joyfully grateful for the love of God that enabled Him to sacrifice His beloved Son that I can have eternal life.
“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He is risen!” Luke 24:5. I am joyfully grateful for the empty tomb, and a living Savior who has promised that I will live forever with Him.
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” John 8:12. I am joyfully grateful for the light of Jesus Christ in this dark world, and for His light that shines in my heart when darkness and fear and discouragement take hold of me.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me…and I lay down my life the sheep.” John 10:14-15. I am joyfully grateful for my Shepherd who leads this not-so-bright sheep to good pasture and living water and places to rest, who protects me, finds me when I wander, and died that I might live.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him” 2 Peter 1:3. I am joyfully grateful that God has given me His Word and His Spirit to live a godly and fruitful life in Him.
“He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” Philippians 1:6. I am joyfully grateful that God will never, ever give up on me, but will continue to mold me and shape me until He sees the reflection of His Son in me.
“Sanctify them by the truth; Your Word is truth” John 17:17. I am joyfully grateful for the Word of God, which is completely and fully truth. I am grateful for its power to convict me of my sins, to reveal the truth of the Gospel of Christ to me, and to sanctify and transform me into His child.
I am joyfully grateful for God’s Holy Spirit, for His redemption, grace, mercy, sovereignty, providence, provision, protection, kindness, promise…there is no end to the list of blessings that God pours out on those who love Him – and even those who reject Him.
Take some time today to express your joyful thanks to God who has been so good to you.
Holy Father, there is no end to the blessings You have given to me. Even if I start today, I could never express in a thousand years my gratitude for all you have done for me. I’m so glad that I will have all eternity to bow before You in joyful thanks and praise. Amen.