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  • Writer's pictureJennifer C. Stone

The Secret Power of Gratitude

Gratitude can fill your heart with joy and peace, displacing worry and fear. Read the blog to discover the secret power of gratitude to transform your life.


Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation. - Psalm 100:4-5 (NLT)

Gold, red, orange and yellow leaves crunch under my feet as I walk the familiar path at the park, my heart heavy with the weight of responsibility and concern, my face wet with tears. In many different seasons of my life this nature park has been a sanctuary for me. This new season I find myself in is no exception. I come here to think and to pray as I walk. Walking clears my head and unburdens my heart. Sometimes fear comes over me, like a wave I am unprepared for, and I feel the riptide of questions and all I can’t control knocking me off balance.


This particular day as I walk and pray, I opt to roll the burden I carry onto God. 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all of your anxieties on Him for He cares for you.” (NRSV) I decide to take God at His Word. As I name and roll my burdens onto Him, asking Him to carry what I cannot, something inside of me shifts. I take my eyes off the road and really notice the colorful array of beauty against a backdrop of brilliant blue and golden rays of sunshine interspersed with clouds. Suddenly, a deer leaps from the woods across the path in front of me brining an intake of breath as awe and wonder replace worry. Instead of feeling weight, I feel gratitude. With that gratitude comes the peace of being in the present moment.


Making my way along the path through the park I began to audibly give thanks for all I am blessed with. The burdens I was carrying lift. The gift of being grateful for even the smallest things transforms my perspective and my attitude.


Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. Philippians 4:6-8 says (MSG)


As I recall this Scripture, it reminds me that worry has to do with tomorrow and gratitude is appreciating what is already here, now


Gratitude has the power to alter our perceptions and transform our lives. Even when our circumstances remain the same or people don’t change, our attitude is something within our control. An attitude of gratitude can usher in a sense of contentment. An attitude of gratitude can fill our hearts with joy and peace.


Even in times of crisis, uncertainty and loss, an attitude of gratitude can alter your perspective from pain to thankfulness, opening the door to the present moment, ushering in sweet acceptance and comforting peace.

{my graphics are inspirational gifts for you}


Let’s stop thinking people or things outside of our control can bring us happiness. While things can make us feel momentarily happier, the key is momentarily. “Happiness comes from happenings. Joy comes from Jesus.” 1


The seeds of contentment grow in the garden of our souls and flourish with gratitude. - Jen Stone-Sexton

The daily practice of writing in a gratitude journal what I am grateful for - whether small or significant – has shaped my perspective in every area of my life for many years. The practice is not so difficult when things are going well. But when I’m having a hard day, a hard month, or a hard season, finding things to be grateful for is more challenging. It’s in those times that listing what I am thankful for makes such a big difference. I know this, and yet I have allowed other things to crowd out the benefit of focusing on and writing what I am grateful for. Once home, I open my long-neglected journal and pick up my favorite blue pen to write all that I am thankful for.


I encourage you to find a journal which beckons you to open the pages, pick up your favorite pen and remember the gifts in the ordinary and routine moments of your day as well as the extraordinary and exceptional ones. In giving thanks for what you have, you will find that it is enough and all is well with your soul.


What are you grateful for today? If you would like to get started with your own Gratitude Journal, here is a beautiful Gratitude Journal with tips and prompts to get you going!

Gratitude Journal
.pdf
Download PDF • 16.62MB

If this devotional blog encouraged you, would you share it with a friend?


Are you struggling to stay positive? Effortlessly re-center your mind on God’s beautiful Truth with Prayer Poems™ of Praise.

Some days are long, hard and unforgiving. Refresh your weary soul with this set of 30 heart-felt prayers so you can focus on what you are grateful for. Set them up in your home where they’ll catch your eye all day long or gift them to someone you love. Discouragement and defeat don’t belong in your heart or home. 💗 Let God speak to your heart – He’ll fill your spirit with courage and hope.

"I just love these prayers and placed them on my desk where I see them everyday. Each one is so encouraging!" - Elaine

Editor's Note:

This blog is by Freedom to Flourish Life Coaching Founder and Christian Life Coach, Jen Stone-Sexton. For additional support explore our on-demand Courses HERE. Jen has a few openings for new clients. You can learn more about working with Jen here.

Would you like more support with overcoming limiting mindsets and establishing a practice of gratitude in your life? I would love to come alongside you to offer that support. To learn more, you can schedule HERE for a free 60-minute no-obligation Discovery Session.


Jennifer C. Stone-Sexton © 2023 Freedom to Flourish, LLC

All graphics created by Jennifer C. Stone-Sexton © 2023 Freedom to Flourish, LLC

All Rights Reserved.

 

Credits:

1 Pastor Joe Frejosky


Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references from the Holy Bible:

New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

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