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How to Fill Up on Gratitude
By Rick Warren

"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT)

When you’re going through a season of great change and stress, how do you maintain joy?

You do it by developing the habit of thanking God for all that’s good, despite all that’s bad.

This principle is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:18: "Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (NLT). This means that we should develop an attitude of gratitude in every situation. It doesn't mean that we have to be thankful for everything that happens to us, especially the bad things like cancer or car accidents. We don’t have to be thankful for all the evil in the world.

But every time you take a minute to express gratitude to God about anything—it could be your favorite music, nature spot, or Scripture—it helps refill your empty emotional tank so you can move forward in life. Choosing to be thankful is for your own good; it keeps you from getting bitter and helps you make it to the finish line.

Being grateful is easy when your emotional tank is full and things are going great in your life. It’s much harder to find something to be thankful for when you're facing a crisis or prolonged chronic stress. But that’s when you need to express gratitude the most.

The story of Job is a great example of gratitude during hard times. He was a wealthy and successful man, but he lost everything in a single day. He didn't know why everything happened to him, and he had every reason to be angry and bitter. Despite this, he gratefully worshipped God. Even in his darkest moment, he fell to the ground and worshipped God, saying, "May the name of the LORD be praised” (Job 1:21 NIV).

One of the most practical yet powerful habits you can develop is to make a daily gratitude list. Just sit down for five minutes each day and ask yourself, "What am I grateful for?” It’s a habit that will strengthen your soul and keep you going when you feel like giving up.

Even in our darkest moments, we can follow Job's example and gratefully worship God, knowing that his will for us is to give thanks in all circumstances.

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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