The Abundant Life: Riches money can’t buy…
Those living the abundant life have an attitude of gratitude. They know that developing the art of appreciation can actually change their lives for the better.
Many spend time striving for things they think will bring them happiness and miss the joy of the journey. Happiness is not something we postpone until we get the new car, fancy house, flat screen TV, or big promotion. If we aren’t happy before we get them, chances are we won’t be happy after we get them. Happiness comes from being grateful for what we have.
Oprah Winfrey says, “The single greatest thing you can do to change your life today would be to start being grateful for what you have right now.”
Scientific studies actually show there are benefits from being thankful. A University of California long-term study on gratitude found that being grateful promotes good health, contributes to becoming successful, aids better sleep patterns, and just overall makes one more generous and helpful to others.
In researching for his book, Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, Robert Emmons and colleague Michael McCollough conducted studies on gratitude and its impact on lives. Three groups were asked to keep daily diaries. The first group wrote about the experiences they had throughout the day without being instructed to emphasize whether they were good or bad. The second group recorded only unpleasant experiences. The third group kept a gratitude journal. The results showed that the people who wrote down what they were grateful for had higher alertness, enthusiasm, determination, optimism, and energy. Plus, they had less depression and stress.
So the world has come to know what the Bible told us all along: “It is good to give thanks unto the Lord…” (Psalm 92:1) 1 Thessalonians goes so far as to say, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances…” Can we find something to be thankful for even in dire circumstances? We don’t need to be thankful for a major trial, but we can be thankful that God is always with us. It could even be an opportunity to grow in a deeper relationship with Him.
Instead of listing all the things we don’t have, try giving thanks for what we do have. Do we have any of the following: a job, food, shelter, clothes, friends, and family? Today, did we behold sunshine, flowers, a smile from someone, a child’s laughter, or find a good parking space? The abundant life will not take these things for granted. The abundant life will give thanks!
“…I have come that they may have life and that they
may have it more abundantly.” ~John 10:10 (KJV)