Editor’s note: What a week we’re about to embark on! We thought you could use a few quick devotions to get your mornings started. Despite the chaos surrounding us right now, let’s remind ourselves that it is the season of thankfulness. We hope this season will be the catalyst into a life of thankfulness. Enjoy these 5 devotions, curated with you in mind, from 365 Devotions for a Thankful Heart!
Awakening Gratitude Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. — Psalm 95:6
A quick step to a thankful heart is to spend a few minutes worshiping God. Open your Bible and read aloud a favorite psalm, Philippians 2, or any favorite passage. Sing a classic hymn. Thank God for evidence of His presence.
Another idea: in your journal, share your reaction to Brother Lawrence’s thoughts on worship:
- “To worship God in truth is to recognize Him for being who He is, and to recognize ourselves for what we are.”
- “To worship God in truth is further to admit that we are entirely contrary to Him, and that He is willing to make us like Himself if we desire it.”
- “We must worship him… by a humble and true adoration of spirit in the depth and center of our souls.”
Brother Lawrence, a seventeenth-century monk, was the author of The Practice of the Presence of God, in which these and other thoughts about worship are found. The book’s very title seems synonymous with the psalmist’s call to worship the King. And spending time in worship awakens gratitude in our hearts.
Father, You alone are worthy of worship — and I praise You for helping me know that joyful truth!
Promise Made, Promise Kept
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. — Hebrews 10:23
There’s nothing like an election cycle to bring out our inner skeptic. When, if ever, have you gone to the polls confident that a candidate you vote for will keep all his or her campaign promises? Maybe never, and one reason elected officials don’t keep their promises is because they soon realize just how difficult their promised changes are to make.
God, however, possesses complete power to fulfill whatever promise He makes. God cannot lie. When He says He will do something, He will. He will keep every promise He makes. Oh, He may not keep it in the way we expect. But we can be sure He will indeed fulfill all He guarantees He’ll do.
What particular God-promises offer you comfort? Hope? Peace? “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
“Those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength . . . they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31). And those are just some of Jesus’ greatest hits!
If the latest election left you skeptical and disappointed, remember the One who always does exactly what He says He will. And thank Him.
Thank You, almighty and faithful God, for keeping every promise You make!
Please and Thank You The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God! — Psalm 50:23 ESV
When praying, are you better at saying “Please” or “Thank You”? Ponder that question for a few moments. Do you find yourself praying, “God, please _______” or do you start your prayers with praise?
In my experience, it’s easier to ask God for something than to give thanks. Maybe it’s because the “please” seems more urgent than the “thank You.” You might ask Him for a clear cancer scan, relief from anxiety, provision for financial needs, help with a whiny toddler, or strength to get through a demanding day. He wants to hear our requests! But let’s praise as we petition. Make it a point to have thanksgiving on your lips as often as you raise requests to God. Not only is gratitude glorifying to God, it also reminds you of His faithfulness in the past and lightens your burdened heart; saying “thank You” recalls what you have already been given.
Be faithful to say “Please,” but be especially skilled at saying “Thank You.”
Father, thank You for always hearing and answering.
Yesterday’s Thanks I will praise the LORD according to His righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High. — Psalm 7:17
Let me ask you this: What if you wake up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today? When I first stumbled across that question, it stopped me in my tracks. Would I wake up with anything? It’s a humbling and provocative idea.
I don’t ask this question to make you feel guilty or to coerce you to painstakingly list every single blessing every single day. It’s simply a good reminder to keep gratitude at the forefront of our minds — to intentionally thank the Lord for all the gifts He gives us.
While this is an extreme example, writer Barbara Ann Kipfer published a book called 14,000 Things to Be Happy About. The book lists delights from “rabbit tracks in the snow” to “20 minutes all to yourself” and “strawberry ice- cream shortcake” as reasons for joy. The author started the list when she was younger, and it turned into quite the popular compilation — over one million copies in print.
Again, if you wake up tomorrow with only what you’ve said “Thank You” for today, what would you have? Let’s challenge ourselves to spend a few minutes every day thanking the Lord for His countless blessings.
Lord, my thanks will never be enough, but let me offer them anyway. I praise You for giving so beautifully to me.
An Open Door “I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” — Revelation 3:8 NIV
Your heart and your life are like a door. But whether to open or close it, whether to let others in or keep them out— that is up to you. Most people will knock on a door, but if no one answers they will go away. They might try another time, or they might not. But Jesus stands at the door of your life, your heart, and just keeps knocking (Revelation 3:20). Sometimes He knocks softly, sometimes He pounds, but He doesn’t ever go away. He waits until either you welcome Him inside or it’s too late.
Some people are afraid to let Jesus inside because of the mess that He’ll find there: mistakes, shambles of sins, untidied thoughts and desires, a chaos of questions and confusion. But just look at what He says, “I know your deeds.” Another translation says, “I know everything you have done” (CEV). Jesus has already seen what’s on the other side of the door — and guess what? He loves you so much that He still wants in!
Each time you open or close a door this day, be thankful for the One who is always eager to come inside — and let your door swing open wide!
So often I am weak, but I will always strive to follow You, Lord. Thank You for coming into my life.
Excerpted with permission from 365 Devotions for a Thankful Heart, copyright Zondervan.
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Go through this week starting each morning telling God what you’re thankful for. See what happens! We’d love to hear about the blessings in your life. Come share on our blog!