A Personal Note from Pastor's Pen - Gratitude

If you watch the news or spend any amount of time on social media, society seems like it's in a tailspin. Whether we're talking about Ukraine, the economy, elections, recessions, or interest rates, it's all a mess. And it is easy for us to get absorbed in the mess and find yourself in a ill mood filled with gloom and doom. One biblical way out of the negativity that comes from the society around us is to position yourself in a spirit of thanksgiving. Gratitude is a virtuous circle. Most of us know this from personal experience. Beyond our biblical mandate from I Thess. 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you; there is now much secular research that has concluded that gratitude is a key component of helping  people live happier and longer. I love it when the science and psychological communities get things right and support the scripture. According to research reported by Robert A. Emmons and Anjali Mishra, there are several scientifically supported ways gratitude helps us flourish.

1. Gratitude reduces our stress. God engineered our minds to have thankfulness to redirect our attention from our difficulties to the blessings He has given us.

2. Gratitude protects us from negative emotions. When we   focus on what we don’t have or how our decisions could have turned out  better, we leave room for resentment, envy, and regret. God uses gratitude to keep these feelings away.

3. Gratitude improves our health. The research shows that thankfulness helps us sleep better, controls our blood pressure, and generally reduces physical ailments. There are many way to express your thankfulness.

Start in prayer. Then I challenge you to write someone who has helped you along the way and tell them “Thank You!

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