DAY 1 - THANKFUL HEART
For months now, I have been looking carefully at what the Scripture has to say about gratitude. I’ve been meditating on what it means to have a thankful heart, and why it matters. Jesus has taken me on a personal journey — He has shown me how important it is to train my heart and mind to respond to all of life with gratitude, even in situations and seasons that I find hard or difficult.
In this journey I learned something precious from my daughter, she is only 17 months and I’m sure one of her favorite words is THANK YOU. She says ‘thank you’ all the time, especially when she wants something from me or if she wants something I’m holding. She sees it and she doesn’t even ask for it. She comes to me, points to the object and says “thank you” and grabs it from my hand.
One time she did that and something clicked in my heart. God spoke to me very clearly, “Daughter, You can also act like that with Me, thank Me before the miracle, thank Me before the breakthrough, thank Me before you receive your blessings, live with a thankful heart.”
In John 6, we see our Jesus multiplied five loaves and two fish that fed thousands of people. In verse 11, it says Jesus, “gave thanks.” We can see in this story that He didn’t allow what He saw in the natural to dictate His thanksgiving. Jesus gave thanks before the abundance.
We all know that it’s not always easy to give thanks, but I believe we have a choice. Yes, we can choose to be thankful. We can choose to rejoice. We can choose to see the good around us. We can choose to see God moving in our lives.
Here’s what I know to be true- a healthy heart is a thankful heart.
A heart of gratitude leaves no room for complaining, for it is not possible to be truly thankful and be filled with negativity at the same time. Choose GRATITUDE!
What are you thankful for today? Are you thankful for your present circumstances? Are you thankful for your family, your friendships, and your job? Are you thankful for the way God made you?
I encourage all of you to write out 5 things you are grateful for today, and repeat each and every day. Thank Jesus for each and every blessing, because each and every good gift comes from Him.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
I truly believe that this is Christ’s will for us: to ALWAYS live with a thankful heart.
- Fernanda Hazzard
This year held unexpected experiences for many people. It is historic both in activity and lack thereof. The challenges of the pandemic, unemployment, fires, distancing, rioting, etc. birthed a tension that wrangled the lives of many people, and left others in a disoriented chaos. To some the tension of this year was physical, to others emotional, to all of us - something significant.
Whatever your situation, this year is important. It will long hold history that is ours to live and tell. In the midst of both the living and telling, we have yet an important decision to make this year, and that is - how are we going to land this year? Are we going to be found in mental distress or in joyful expectation? Despairing disappointment or trust in God? Grasping for security or being held secure by our Father? Depressed or expressed? Burned out or renewed? Shouting or listening? Hoarding or giving? Negative or hopeful?
ConnectUp wants to invite you into a 21 Day journey leading up to Thanksgiving Day through a daily devotional on the topic of gratitude. We want to encourage a washing of hearts through the power of gratitude this season. It is time to re-discover the beauty of a single focus on Jesus, His goodness, and the ways He is working brilliantly around us - every single day. Starting on November 6th, we will be posting a daily devotional on gratitude to guide this process. Each devotional is written by someone different in our community, each holds a nugget of hope about how we view our lives, each is an invitation to consider the immensity of the goodness of God.
Come along! Starting November 6, 2020!