On our final day on increasing our joy through the simple tool of counting our daily blessings, I’d like to leave you with this most obvious practical suggestion: your personal quiet time each day with Jesus.
Yup, you read that right. Research shows that setting aside at least 20 minutes each day thinking about the ones you love can begin to rewire your emotions. Some studies suggests that for those who can’t carve out 20-minutes, if they “just spend several seconds regularly, throughout the day, dwelling on blessings and actively experiencing gratitude” they became more positive people who are more likely to experience victory in their lives.
By slowing down and telling Jesus that you love Him and letting Him tell you that He loves you back for at least 20 minutes each day, you can go a long way in retraining your brain for victory.
S“E”t Free Nowww
Today is day three of how to lead a more joy-filled life simply by learning to count your blessings. Believers are commanded to do this in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, which states they are to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances.”
Today’s practical step in counting your blessings is to tell others “Thank you” for making a difference in your life. Think of a person who has touched your life in some way, big or small, and text/email/write them a thank you note for blessing your life. Research has shown that those who did this felt 100% better about themselves after completing the assignment. When people actually delivered their thanks in person, they had even greater levels of joy up to a year later!
If both parties are filling their minds with “happy thoughts” because of these thank you notes, it leaves less room for the negative ones that drive them to their drugs of choice. Telling people to their face how thankful we are for them gives both of us a greater chance of victory by giving us more truths to drive our enemy away days, weeks and years later.
Isn’t it interesting that the Bible tells us to encourage each other…today and everyday (Hebrews 3:13)? Doing so will give both parties – the giver and receiver – greater levels of joy.
Again, my US readers have a natural opportunity, Thanksgiving, to do that around the dinner table today. No matter what country you live in, though, why not tell those around your dinner table tonight what you are thankful about in their life. It will do you some both good.
S“E”t Free Nowww
Scripture describes how to live in the real world in which we live. I don’t need science to back it up, but it’s cool when researchers discover truths – like be thankful – already contained in the Book of books. We started a series that will continue through Friday about how those who daily count their blessings lead much happier lives than those don’t, regardless of their circumstances.
This is an insight into the Spirit’s command to secure children of God to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances” in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Yesterday I gave one practical way to count your blessings, which was to talk with Jesus – pray without ceasing. It’s a blessing that even scientific research reveals leads to healthier lives.
Today’s practical way to count your blessing is to brainstorm a list things you’re grateful for in your life. Research has shown that people who talk “about things they were grateful for recorded a greater sense of happiness and well-being,” which lasted for months. You can reduce the down hill slide in your head, which leads to your drug of choice – say worry – simply by intentionally reminding yourself of your blessings.
This goes to the heart of “give thanks in all circumstances.” Your circumstances may be lousy, but stopping to remember what you’re thankful for or pulling up that list from your phone and reading it aloud to yourself, will start to move your attitude upward.
Right now stop what you’re doing. Brainstorm a list of things for which you are thankful. Keep going until you reach at least 25 items on that list. Then each day remember to rehearse that list of truths that will set you free from the negativity that drags you down, especially in “circumstances” that tend to point you in that direction. And for those living in the US, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Why not share a few items from that list with those at the dinner table?
S“E”t Free Nowww
Research shows that those who know how to count their blessings lead much happier lives than those who don’t; and, it has nothing to do with their outward circumstances either!
Isn’t it interesting that research discovers what Scripture already has made known to us. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 states, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Observe the passage carefully, your happiness depends on it. Notice they’re all commands. God is asking you to do something you’re certainly capable of choosing. Also notice that none these choices are dependent upon your circumstances. No where does it say rejoice because life is good or give thanks because you’re riding a “happy wave.”
No, we can choose to count our blessings. We can choose to rejoice and be thankful no matter what are situations happen to be at the moment. Our happiness is totally in our hands; therefore, happiness is a choice if we so choose to count our blessings.
Over the course of the next few days, I’ll give you a few practical ways to count your blessings. You’ll experience the joy and peace that being thankful each day (not just on Turkey day either, for those living in the US) everywhere you go can bring as you choose to practice them.
Want the first practical step? Talk with Jesus throughout your day! Seriously, research “shows that prayer and acknowledging a higher power can dramatically boost our gratitude.” Isn’t it interesting that nestled between rejoice and be thankful is talking with God?
Actions and emotions start in your head, so where is your head at in any given moment will determine your happiness. Are you focusing on the problem or talking to the solution? Today, choose to do “give thanks to the LORD, for His love endures forever!” (2 Chron. 20:21b) Your God loves and wants to talk with you now and throughout eternity. That’s a blessing to be counted on every day no matter where you are.
S“E”t Free Nowww
I was taking a break this afternoon and decided to watch some football. The announcers talked about how bad a certain quarterback had played the previous week. I mean it was awful, really awful.
They asked him what he was going to do this week. His answer? “You have to have a short memory to play at this level. You can’t bring last week into this week or you’ll play terrible again, which could cost you your job.” The announcer described it this way, “You’ve got to have amnesia. You must forget the bad game in order to concentrate to have a good game.”
This is true for the believer as well. Though we wish for only good days. The reality is that we do have some stinkers as well. We must remember went right so we can repeat it and forget the bad through getting forgiveness in order to focus on Jesus and victory today.
God covers our mistakes with Jesus’ blood. He doesn’t remember them. Why should we? We’ve got to learn to have selective amnesia by forgetting what lies behind in order to press on towards becoming more like Jesus. It’s the only way to a brighter victorious today.
Set Free N“O”www