Ever wonder the secret to being a more thankful person?
I believe the secret to being thankful is in learning to be more content.
We give thanks out of a heart overflowing with gratefulness. A full heart naturally produces gratitude. When we are content with where God has allowed us to be our heart will be more thankful.
How do we do that?
The Apostle Paul told us he had learned the secret to being content.
I think Paul gave us some clues earlier in his letter to the Philippians.
Here was Paul’s remedy:
(He says he’s going to tell us one thing — then he gives us three — typical Paul.)
Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)
Here is Paul’s remedy to being more content – and ultimately more thankful:
1. Forgetting what is behind.
Have you made some mistakes? That day is gone. It’s over. The question now is what are you going to do about it? Are you going to live in the past? Hold on to guilt? Refuse the grace of God in your life? Refuse to forgive? Hold a grudge?
One of my favorite verses is Ecclesiastes 11:3. Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there it will lie.
The reality is you can let what has happened – the tree fell. It may have been your fault or beyond your control. But you can let it control you or you can move forward. But you cannot do both. Which will you choose?
2. Remembering what is ahead.
Life moves forward. This too shall pass. And the best days are ahead if you’re a child of God. He’s writing a story with a happy ending, where all things work for an ultimate good.
Right now we have more questions than answers. Some day God will provide for His children a Sabbath rest. Have you ever seen a sunset which took your breath away or marveled at the beauty of a mountain reaching into a clouded sky? Well, just wait. “No eye has seen” what God has prepared. If Christ is in you – you have a present Helper and a future reward. It’s all working for His glory.
3. Pursuing worthy goals.
In the middle of leaving our past behind and anticipating a glorious future, we are to pursue Christ. We are to honor Him with our life. That means we obey His commands – to love God and love one another.
It means we pray for our enemies. And we do good expecting nothing in return. As we do, He will fill our heart with more joy, more contentment — and ultimately more thanksgiving.
Later in Philippians, Paul shares that the “peace of God” will guard our hearts. We will be filled with contentment.
And we will find ourselves being a more thankful person.