A grateful heart brings joy

Betty Badie

My sister in Christ Duoatto Duo once said to me, "Sis when a person walks around mad and lashing out, we cannot take it personal because the person is really mad at themselves or they hate the person that they have become due to the lack of joy in their own lives."

I really thought about her statement for several weeks and I realized that she was not only speaking the truth, but she was also describing me. Many of us walk around upset, angry, bitter and mad at the world instead of being grateful for all that we have or all that we have made it through. Instead, we tend to focus on our problems or what we do not have and we get stuck right there and it causes us to lose our way, but God is so real!

He will not sit back and allow his children to self destruct ... God is always on time! I am so thankful that Duoatto was obedient to the spirit and spoke those words to me, she has helped me to become a better person; with just a simple two-minute conversation during fellowship time on a Sunday morning. Hallelujah! You all better give God some praise today.

Listen my friends, the key is to make a change by learning to be grateful and to always remember that everything that we do should be done with a spirit of thankfulness. By doing this we will do things to the best of our ability as we also honor God. Today be encouraged to give thanks in all situations; whether good or bad and by doing this we learn to remain humble.

To be thankful simply means to express gratitude. This is very easy, we just have to begin to be thankful no matter what is happening in and around us. I have recently learned that when I express thanks for everything instead of focusing on the situation at hand; I get so much joy. Why? Because I get joy when I think about what he has done for me.

The Bible tells us in Psalms 107:1 -- Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. This verse is telling us to be thankful because our God is good and his love for us will last forever. Praise God! I am so thankful that God never gave up on me and I rejoice today.

We all know that on the fourth Thursday of November, we celebrated Thanksgiving Day. On this special holiday most families gathered together to have a big meal of a turkey and lots of other good food and the desserts usually include pumpkin and/or sweet potato pie. Along with the meal, some families watched football games all day, some had game day and some played music while dancing and celebrating the holiday. Most families gathered together in a circle holding hands before eating as each member told everyone the things that they are thankful and grateful for this particular year.

As I think about the joy that Thanksgiving Day brings to the majority of us I have to wonder why we do not celebrate Thanksgiving on a daily basis. I ask everyone to get a journal or a small notebook and until Thanksgiving Day next year write down everything that we are thankful for each day. I have noticed when our minds and thoughts are focused on the goodness in our lives we are much happier and joyful people.

Although we are faced with many different dilemmas at different times throughout life, we can be thankful, grateful and joyful in spite of any painful or heartbreaking situation that any one of us may encounter. When people lie on you to make themselves look good; be thankful that they were thinking about you. When a relationship ends; be thankful that you are free to receive the person that God has for you. When church folks mistreat you; be thankful that they have shown you what not to do to offend others. When your boss keeps asking you to do everything; be thankful that your boss knows that you are dependable and that they believe in you. When your children are acting up; be thankful that you have been given the opportunity to help guide them the right way to bring about a change. When you feel alone; be thankful that you have time alone to spend with God so that he can speak to you. Many of the above scenarios may cause us some hurt and pain but as we see on the flip side we can still be grateful no matter what may come our way.

Remember we must get rid of the negative behavior and begin to always think about reasons to be thankful. Just to name a few -- we are alive and breathing, we are reading this article so this means that we can see, we also have homes, jobs, cars, families and most of us are in our right minds. So today and every day give thanks with a grateful heart and live a joy-filled life.

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