We continue with the season of fall, and you hear a lot of people making statements and declaring their thankfulness. We know from a biblical standpoint and just a general sense of emotional wellness that is good to have a heart of gratitude as an ongoing part of our lives, because the opposite can make us sick and frustrated and full of complaining. I want us to take a look at a way that thankfulness can be anchored in a lot more solid and with Someone that is rock solid and that is Christ Jesus. He and His Kingdom cannot be shaken.
I was coaching with a lady and she had suffered a lot of anxiety. She was listing many things she knew she needed to thankful for, like her husband, different situations, etc. I asked her, “What about being thankful for and really coming to know the true nature of God? What about having some heart conversations with the Lord, so you really come to know His nature whether or not any of these external things change the way you want them to change?”
She sat back and paused for a moment and it was like a lightbulb went off and she said, “Oh, you mean be thankful for those things that are unchanging?” I said, “Yeah, be thankful for those things that are unchanging, and God’s heart is unchanging when we truly get to know Him.”
God’s nature is unchanging when we truly get to know Him. Jesus said, “What you see Me doing is the Father’s will being done through Me.” He said, “The life that I am living is the Father’s heart in and through Me.” We begin to see His consistency and steadiness in the midst of so much adversity, towards Him and in the political arena. There were all kinds of things around Him shifting and changing, and yet He remained steady. He asks us, He calls us to follow Him. Not only did He say to follow Him, but He said, “Let me put my life in you, you yield to that, and follow Me.”
Going back to this placing our thankfulness in what He has given us, His life in us, and not attaching His faithfulness to things either going our way or not going our way. He promised to never leave us, to never forsake us, to put His life in us. He is faithful to transform us more and more into His image. When we begin to see His faithfulness and experience His love and joy and peace, and truly get to know Him, it will change the course of your thankfulness. Will you still be thankful for your job or your husband? Yes, but that will almost be an overflow because you have become rooted and grounded in things that are immovable. That is His nature, His Kingdom. His Kingdom is where He rules and reigns and He desires to reign in our hearts.
I just want us to consider being thankful for things that do not change. God and His true nature do not change, and if you think it does, then I invite you to come to know His heart more and more. That comes with humility, a willingness that comes from us entering into heart conversations with Him, not putting Him on trial, actually desiring like little children to come to know Him. Then what happens is that regardless of what circumstances we might be going through or what might be shifting or moving all around us, we’re learning His heart and allowing it to be lived through our lives. We’re experiencing a peace and a joy amidst all kinds of shifts and moves. What we will find is that our thankfulness will automatically be there, not something you are trying to do because it is something you know you should do. It becomes you because His life is in you. We either believe Christ redeemed us and restored us and wants to put His life back into us so that we can live from that place or we’re still trying to work to have a better life. He has already given us a better life in His Son. Jesus said come follow me. The Father says come dwell in my heart, in the love and the home that I have for you. The heart is at rest and it is thankful.
My question to you today is, “Do you find yourself being thankful for things that are shifting and moving and then struggle when those things are not going the way that you want them to go?” Then do you say, “I know I should be thankful, let me confess this and give voice to this?” If that is your experience, then I invite you to come to know Him more and more to where thankfulness is just a fruit that results from knowing Him and knowing His faithfulness towards you.