Give Thanks! |DR. R. CLIFFORD JONES
Mental health issues are very much in the news of late. Perhaps because the stigma of discussing mental health is disappearing, we’re hearing more and more about mental conditions, such as depression. Nowadays, people are not as loathe to admit that they are struggling with depression as they once were, and it’s to society’s benefit that to admit that one is struggling with mental health issues is no longer taboo.
Recently, I came across an article that stated that gratitude is a powerful antidote to some mental illnesses. Giving thanks is good for you. Being grateful is a powerful panacea.
Research has shown that a spirit of gratitude improves both physical and psychological health. Gratitude promotes sound sleep, raises self-esteem, and fosters empathy.
My wife has a ribbon above our kitchen sink on which is inscribed, “Luck has nothing to do with it; we’re blessed.” Every time I see the banner, I smile, knowing that it is 100% true. In my house, we are thankful because we are blessed.
The psalmist David was grateful almost to a fault. “I will bless the Lord at all times,” he declared, “His praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1). David’s life was a symphony of praise that refused to be altered by negative or untoward circumstances. In the good times as well as the not-so-good times, David’s harp and songs were aligned with praise.
Christians ought to be among the most grateful people. The promises of God are reason enough for gratitude and thanksgiving. The theme of the North American Division Year-End Meeting this year was “Pursuing His Promises,” and each presenter was encouraged to share a Bible promise as they came to the microphone to share their report. What a blessing it was to listen to promise after promise, with no promise ever being repeated.
When we think of all that God in and through His Son Jesus Christ has done for us, we ought to shout “Hallelujah. Thank you, Jesus.” Our God is a promise-giver and a promise-keeper.
This Thanksgiving season, give God praise for his manifold blessings and tender mercies, which are new every morning. Thank God for His faithfulness and His unfailing love (1 Cor. 10:13; 1 Cor. 13). Thank Him for the promise of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, as well as for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Thank God for your family and friends. Thank Him for health and happiness.
I join the apostle Paul in thanking God for you. “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now” (Phil. 1:3-6). This year, I am opting to give thanks with a grateful heart. Won’t you?
R. Clifford Jones