Practicing thankfulness is one of the most valuable antidotes to the parts of our lives that lead us to seasons of frustration, worry, and anxiety. Gratitude is a part of our worship, and it affects our disposition towards God, the people around us, and our outlook on the world tremendously.

Gratitude within a community is particularly important. Communities that lack the proper amount of gratitude in the people's hearts are plagued with issues of disunity, selfishness, and cynicism.

I've been feeling God speak to me through scripture, prayer, and some reading lately that I need to remember this aspect of spiritual discipline in my life and look to see where my heart is not practicing gratitude. I've found that I don't struggle often with complaining, or feeling cynical, as much as I just am neutral. I don't say complaints, but neither do I say thanks.

So this past week or so I've been praying through different areas of my life where I can remember what God is doing and say thank you to Him. It's been re-centering my mind on what is true about God and what I know I need to remember in my daily life to avoid getting trapped in worry, stress, or lack of connection to God. I encourage you to do this this week as well. Gratefulness as a practice is not about naive, blind optimism that chooses to ignore the suffering and pain of the environment around us. It's choosing to hold in tension that suffering in one hand, the good works of God and hope we have in the other, but choosing to give the hope and good the strongest voice in our life. ALl the while caring deeply and working as we can to reduce the suffering we observe by God's power and guidance.

It's something we've been talking about in my 1-1's and as a community and I encourage you to join in that with us.

Below you'll see a story from one of our students at UTD, and how God has been working in her life!


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