The Gratitude Challenge–Day 1

It is the month of November, and many other bloggers are writing about gratitude. This November though I don’t want to just write about gratitude. I want to learn to live a life of gratitude.

I’m not a naturally grateful or positive person. I have a hard seeing the little things, those little blessings that show how much God loves me…loves us, and so this month I want to challenge myself and others to learn to see those things.

This year I am issuing a challenge to myself and whoever wants to join me to learn more about giving thanks and praising God. This isn’t a challenge to share on Facebook 3 things that you are grateful for today. I want this challenge to go beyond simply list making. I want it to change me from the inside out.

I want to choose gratitude and not just for the month of November but for life. They say if you repeat something for 21 days that it becomes a habit. Well, for the next month, I want to learn how to make gratitude a habit.

The format for this challenge is going to be a little different than what I usually post. Every day I will share with you:

  • a Bible verse or quote (usually both) on gratitude, praise or rejoicing
  • a couple of my thoughts on the verse or the quote,
  • a journal prompt,
  • an activity designed to increase your gratitude,
  • and a song of praise.

It is so easy for me to say that I am going to choose gratitude and then turn around and find myself complaining, but I don’t want to be that person anymore. I am making a commitment to choose gratitude and to make an active attempt to become a more grateful person.

Psalm136_1_esv

Day 1

Psalm 136

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,
For His steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
For His steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
For His steadfast love endures forever.

To Him who alone does great wonders
For His steadfast love endures forever.
To Him who by understanding made the heavens
For His steadfast love endures forever.
To Him who spread out the earth above the waters,
For His steadfast love endures forever.
To Him who made the great lights,
For His steadfast love endures forever.
The sun to rule over the day,
For His steadfast love endures forever.
The moon and stars to rule over the night,
For His steadfast love endures forever.

To Him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
For His steadfast love endures forever.
And brought Israel out from among them,
For His steadfast love endures forever.
With a strong hand and an outstretched arm,
For His steadfast love endures forever.
To Him who divided the Red Sea in two,
For His steadfast love endures forever.
And made Israel pass through the midst of it,
For His steadfast love endures forever.
But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea,
For His steadfast love endures forever.
To Him who led His people through the wilderness,
For His steadfast love endures forever.

To Him who struck down great kings,
For His steadfast love endures forever.
And killed mighty kings,
For His steadfast love endures forever.
Sihon, king of the Amorites,
For His steadfast love endures forever.
And Og, king of Bashan,
For His steadfast love endures forever.
And gave their land as a heritage,
For His steadfast love endures forever.
A heritage for Israel to his servant,
For His steadfast love endures forever.

It is He who remembered us in our low estate,
For His steadfast love endures forever.
And rescued us from our foes,
For His steadfast love endures forever.
He who gives food to all flesh,
For His steadfast love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of heaven,
For His steadfast love endures forever.

As I read this psalm, I noticed several things:

  • Thanks are something we can and should be giving to God.
  • The author gives a long list of reasons why Israel should give thanks to the Lord.
  • At core of the list is that God’s love for us endures forever, and because of this the first thing we should give thanks for is His love for us.

No matter what we do or say or feel we can never out love or out give God. Every moment, every breath is a precious gift from Him. There is nothing that can separate us from His love.

Activity:

Start a gratitude journal. Use it do more than just keep a list of the things that you are grateful for. As we go through this month, record quotes, Bible verses, your thoughts on gratitude, as well as a list of thing you are thankful for.

Journal Prompt:

life-changing_gratitude

All it is takes to change a life is to start. If you want to learn to live a life of gratitude, you have to start looking for things to be grateful that you have. The best place to start is looking at the one thing that we can’t change:

God’s love for us.

God showed His love for us by sending His Son, Christ Jesus, to die for us. He shows His love for us in many different ways every single day. What other ways has the Lord shown His love for you?

Song:

 

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