«JOYCE MEYER N E W YO R K BOSTON NA SH V ILLE Copyright © 2014 by Joyce Meyer All rights reserved. In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, ...»
365 Devotions for
Discovering the Strength
N E W YO R K BOSTON NA SH V ILLE
Copyright © 2014 by Joyce Meyer
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Meyer, Joyce, 1943– The power of being thankful : 365 devotions for discovering the strength of gratitude / Joyce Meyer. — First Edition.
pages cm ISBN 978-1-4555-1733-6 (hardcover)—ISBN 978-1-4555-3019-9 (large print hardcover)— ISBN 978-1-4789-8294-4 (audio download)—ISBN 978-1-4789-8293-7 (audiobook)— ISBN 978-1-4555-1734-3 (ebook) 1. Gratitude—Prayers and devotions. 2. Devotional calendars. I. Title.
BV4647.G8M49 2014 242'.2—dc23 2014008824
I believe one of the most important things we can do is be thankful for our lives and all that God gives us and does for us. Too often, we focus on what we don’t have or what we wish was different in our lives, and this focus causes us to go through life feeling dissatisfied and defeated. But when we stop and take the time to focus on what we already have and all the ways God has already blessed us, it gives us a new perspective— our mind is renewed, our attitude is affected, and our joy overflows.
That is why I’m excited about The Power of Being Thankful. This devotional is one year’s worth of thankful thoughts compiled from some of my most popular books that will help you develop and maintain a heart of thanksgiving. Regardless of where you are in your journey with the Lord, I believe The Power of Being Thankful is going to help you begin enjoying your life with Him in a whole new way.
I pray that you will set aside the next year to pursue God with a thankful heart. Don’t go through your life frustrated, miserable, and unhappy; God has something much better in store for you.
No matter what we pray for, thanksgiving can always go with it.
A good habit to develop is starting all of our prayers with thanksgiving. An example of this would be: “Thank You, Father, for all You have done in my life; You are awesome and I really love and appreciate You.” I encourage you to examine your life, to pay attention to your thoughts and your words, and to see how much thanksgiving you express. Do you murmur and complain about things or are you thankful?
If you want a challenge, just try to get through an entire day without uttering one word of complaint. Develop an attitude of thanksgiving in every situation. In fact, just become outrageously thankful— and watch as your intimacy with God increases and as He pours out greater blessings than ever before.
Peace is one of the most important elements to enjoying your life.
A life of frustration and struggle, a life without peace, is the result of focusing on things you can’t do anything about. When you worry about things beyond your control, stress and anxiety begin to creep into your life.
The apostle Paul said, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7 NKJV).
Once we realize we are struggling with something and feel upset, we need to start praying and immediately turn the situation over to God, thankful He will provide according to His will and offer us peace. You and I are not called to a life of frustration and struggle. Jesus came so we could have righteousness, joy, and peace!
As believers in Christ, we can be bubbling over with life. We can be vibrant, alive, active, energized, peaceful, and joy-filled.
It is our approach to God that determines our attitude and countenance. When we approach God with boldness, thankful for His grace and confident that He loves us and He is for us, we can’t help but be full of life. However, a legalistic, religious approach to God steals life. It does not nourish it. Remember, Paul said, “The Law kills, but the Spirit makes alive” (2 Corinthians 3:6). When we follow the Spirit, we feel alive.
Each of us should ask ourselves the question, Would people want what I have by watching my life and looking at my countenance? Is my life reflecting a thankful, expectant heart, excited about what God is going to do each new day?
We are to be the light of the world. Make sure your light is shining brightly today.
One of the most powerful forces in the universe is hope. And as a child of God, you can have hope in unlimited measure. That’s something to be thankful for!
Hope is the happy anticipation that something good is going to happen in your life. It’s expecting something good. What are you expecting? Have you even thought about it? If you’re expecting nothing, or if you are expecting just a little bit, you are going to get what you expect.
I always say, “I’d rather believe for a whole lot and get half of it than believe for a little bit and get all of it.” God wants you to trust Him and have a happy expectation for something good. If you’re in a tough situation today, expect it to change. If you’re in a good situation today, expect it to get even better. God is a God of hope.
I encourage you to be a thankful, positive person. If you aren’t it’s just a matter of forming a new habit.
I was so negative at one time in my life that if I even tried to think two positive thoughts in succession my brain seemed to stop functioning. But now I am very positive and actually don’t enjoy being with people who are negative.
If you have not formed the habit of being positive yet, you can begin today! Put reminders around your house or in your car, little signs that say, “Be positive.” Ask the Holy Spirit to remind you if you are slipping into negativity. Ask your friends to help also. Set aside time during the day to focus on and be thankful for the good things God has blessed you with.
Positive, thankful thoughts don’t happen by accident; you can choose to practice them. And remember, practice makes perfect.
Taking time to enjoy the fruit of your labor is one of the main things that will keep you pressing on in difficult times.
God gave many men and women in the Bible difficult tasks to perform, but He always promised a reward. Looking to the reward helps us endure the difficulty. The Bible says in Hebrews 12:2 that Jesus despised the cross, but He endured it for the joy of obtaining the prize that was set before Him. He is now seated at the right hand of the Father.
I encourage you not to look merely at the work you do, but look also at the promise of the reward. Take time to be thankful for and enjoy the fruit of your labor and then you’ll be energized to finish your course.
The mind is the leader or forerunner of all actions. The steps we take each day are a direct result of the thoughts we allow ourselves to think.
If we have a negative mind, we will have a negative life. On the other hand, if we renew our mind according to God’s Word, we will experience “the good and acceptable and perfect will of God” for our lives (Romans 12:2).
So many people’s struggles are rooted in wrong thinking patterns. Negative thinking can actually cause them to create the problems they experience in their lives; thankfully, though, we don’t have to live captive to those thoughts. We can choose to line our thoughts up with the Word of God.
The mind is a battlefield. Decide to resist destructive, negative thinking and dwell on godly thoughts for your life instead. The more you change your mind for the better, the more your life will also change for the better.
One of the most important truths you can be grateful for is that God has promised to never leave you—He is always by your side!
That’s why it is important to remember this: No matter how difficult the circumstances may seem around you, don’t give up!
God is for you, and He is bigger than any trouble you may be facing.
You can regain the territory the devil has stolen from you. If necessary, regain it one inch at a time, being thankful for and always leaning on God’s grace and not on your own ability to get the desired results. In Galatians 6:9, the apostle Paul simply encourages us to keep on keeping on! Don’t be a quitter! Have an “I can do all things through Christ” attitude. God is looking for people who will go all the way through to the other side with Him.
We can live a disciplined life filled with self-control. It is one of the keys to living a joyful life. The Bible teaches us in many places the importance of living a disciplined life.
If we don’t discipline ourselves, our circumstances will eventually become situations we regret, but thankfully, God’s Word teaches us to be temperate, which means to be marked by moderation, to hold ourselves within limits (to compromise between two extremes or find the middle ground).
Clearly we are to maintain balance. The area of finances is an example of where discipline is required. It is wrong to overspend, but it is also wrong to underspend. God gives us money not to hoard, but to enjoy. Wisdom means saving some, spending some, and giving some away.
In every area of your life—relationships, finances, exercise, eating, career, thoughts, and words— ask God to help you live with discipline and self-control. Don’t be led by emotional, in-themoment thinking. Use the wisdom of God to live in balance and really enjoy your life!
Peace is one of the greatest blessings that God has given us, and we should thank Him for it daily. Simply desiring a life of peace is not enough. You have to pursue peace with God, peace with yourself, and peace with those around you. I have found that the more thankful I am, the more peaceful I am. Gratitude helps me focus on what I have instead of what I don’t have, allowing me to stay focused on my blessings instead of worrying.
When walking in peace becomes a priority, you will make the effort needed to see it happen. I spent years praying for God to give me peace and finally realized He had already provided peace, but I had to choose it. Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you.” Jesus has already provided your peace. Make the decision to walk in that peace today!
Prayer of Thanks Father, thank You that You have provided everything I need to live at peace. Today, I choose to pursue that peace and live at rest, knowing You are greater than any trial or tribulation I may be going through. You are everything I need. You are my peace.