Gratitude  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NAS)
“16Rejoice always; 17pray without ceasing; 18in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Gratitude is such a common word used to describe the attitude of emotion that sums up a response to your worldview. How you see life and experiences determine the level of gratitude that you live with. There is a term that caught my attention while researching the topic of gratitude called mental contrasting, which is being optimistic about the benefits of a new habit while also being realistic about how difficult building the habit may be. This made me think about all of the negative self talk that happens while fasting. We give ourselves every reason to discontinue the discipline when we should be optimistic about the benefits of the discipline. The benefits of fasting far exceeds the With an attitude of gratitude we are more likely to see our fasting as a blessing even though we recognize just how tough it may be to stick with the discipline. Remember we are doing much more than just participating in a spiritual discipline. We are also developing a new habit of maintaining gratitude. So do so with the mindset of looking at everyday as an opportunity for improvements. Matthew 6:16  “16“Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 17“But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face 18so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”

Sometimes when you are trying keep an attitude of gratitude you have to reinforce it with behavior conducive to the attitude. During this time of fasting begin to journal the things you are grateful for. It can be as wonderful as new opportunities or as emotional as family. But everyday find yourself writing in your journal. If by chance journaling is mundane to you find another way to express it. Whatever you do make sure you are reinforcing your attitude of gratitude with a behavior of gratitude.