“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).
“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
1 Thessalonians 5:18 and Proverbs 17:22 are related in ways we may not always consider. A person who is joyful will tend to be a person who gives thanks in all circumstances. On the contrary, how often do you encounter a person who is down, depressed, and downtrodden but who is also a person who gives thanks in all things? Or how often do you encounter a person who gripes, complains, and harbors bitterness over various things and who is joyful? The answer is never!
A griping, complaining, bitter attitude is produced from a heart that is down, depressed, and downtrodden. That being said, someone who demonstrates a bitter, complaining attitude will pull their heart to a place of being down and depressed. It is a downward spiral that feeds on itself.
Your attitude in life is like a leash that you tie around your heart. If your attitude is negative, critical, and bitter, you will go through life down and depressed. The circumstances around you can be absolutely horrible. You have a right to be righteously angry, frustrated, and discouraged about circumstances around you at times. But if you allow that leash to pull you as far as your flesh wants to pull you, you will find yourself in a very dark place.
This is why the season of Thanksgiving can be a very helpful season for you to be in. By disciplining yourself to consider the gifts and blessings and positive experiences in your life, you will find your leash taking you in an upward direction. Now, I admit that this sounds like “the power of positive thinking.” On one hand, I don’t intend it to. On the other hand, if we acknowledge why and how we have any ability to think positively, then our thoughts will soar heavenward.
James 1:17 says that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” We can experience good things in this life. We can receive promotions at work, gifts from a loved one, healing from a sickness, a good meal when we are hungry, and a hug from a loved one. Those are all good things. But those gifts are all from the One who has given us the greatest gift of all!
Of all the blessings we have to be thankful for, nothing is more significant than the gift of life through Jesus Christ. This is a gift that is freely offered to any person who believes and turns from their life of sin. It is a gift that we can receive that is so incredibly good; it has the power to take us in our bitter, complaining, downtrodden, and depressed place and lift us up to experience true joy.
The “power of positive thinking” is garbage without Christ. It is temporary happiness, when eternal torment is our future if we do not know Christ. This Thanksgiving season, we have a reason to be glad. We have a reason to be positive. We have a reason to have joy. We have the ultimate reason to be thankful: Jesus Christ. Do you know him?