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Thankfulness: The Key to Having the Life You Really Want

by Joyce Meyer

I recently spent some time thinking about what bad attitude bothers God the most. I believe it’s an ungrateful attitude.

If you’re a parent, you can probably relate to that. You work hard to do all you can for your kids and you’d jump at the chance to do it all over again if they’d just say, “Thanks, Mom” or “Thanks, Dad. I sure do appreciate the things you do for me.” But not all children display that kind of maturity.

Many times they’ll come home murmuring and complaining, “I want this” and “I want that” and “Why won’t you do this one thing for me?” That’s pretty aggravating, isn’t it?

As God’s children, many Christians probably sound the same way to Him!

That’s why I believe we need to take a fresh look at ourselves and the importance of having a thankful attitude toward God.

What the Israelites Couldn’t Figure Out

After Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, they grumbled, murmured and complained. They didn’t like his leadership, and they were tired of eating manna. They actually wanted to go back to Egypt where they were beaten and forced to work long hours in the sun.

The Israelites thought their enemies were the reason they couldn’t get to the Promised Land, but it was their attitude that kept them wandering around in the wilderness. (See Numbers 11.) All they needed to do was be positive.

Now, think about the things in your life that you were so excited about when God first blessed you—the baby you were praying for, the spouse you longed for, that promotion you tried so hard to get. They may be the very thing you complain about today!

The nature of human flesh, if it is not disciplined and controlled by the Holy Spirit, will always drift toward the negative. You never have to try to complain, but it does take a lot of faith and effort to maintain a grateful, thankful attitude.

Appreciating Your Time in the Wilderness

You may think it’s a little bit strange to say this, but I think we need to learn to appreciate our trials a lot more than we do because they’re what make us grow and mature in godly character.

You see, in hard times, we tend to experience more of His nearness and power in our lives. It’s in those times that we really come to know Him.

Complaining actually opens a door for the devil. We need to learn to thank God in everything.

Don’t go to lunch with someone and spend the whole time talking about your problems. Remember, recall and recount the good things God is doing in your life.

Talk about your Red Sea moments. Remember the manna He gave you last week. Remember the resurrections you’ve had in your life. The Bible says to fix your mind on those things that are worthy of praise (see Philippians 4:8). Remember those things. Talk about those things.

I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy to do. It’s much easier to make excuses and feel sorry for yourself because things will happen to you that don’t seem fair. The key is to keep saying, “I trust You, God, and I believe You will work it all out for my good.”

The Benefit of Believing God

It’s a wonderful thing that God has done for us to be able to look at a negative thing in a positive way and actually say, “You cannot defeat me because God is on my side.”

I want to have a good attitude because that’s what will glorify God. He has promised that if we will do three simple things—continue to pray, to love Him, and to want His will—that all things will work together for our good (see Romans 8:28). That’s a 100 percent, ironclad guarantee that no matter how messy life gets, God will make good out of it. If you want victory in your life, all you have to do is adopt a lifestyle of thanksgiving.

If you can manage to be thankful in every situation, really believing that God is working everything out for your good, you will end up with the victory every single time.


This article is taken from Joyce's four-CD series, Happy to Be Me.