A fourth gift He has for us is improving our emotional, mental and physical health. This comes through expressing gratitude to Him as we live out Psalm 50:23 by giving thanks in all things, both positive and painful, delightful and difficult.
A secular article on News Max entitled “Giving Thanks Makes Us Happier,” points out that having an attitude of gratitude brings many benefits. A summary says, “Researchers delving into the physiology of gratitude have discovered it acts powerfully upon neurotransmitters in the brain to increase happiness, reduce stress, boost energy and even improve sleep.” In a separate article, I read that gratitude also strengthens our immune system.
This, of course, is simply discovering what God has told us all along: giving thanks is powerfully good for us, as well as for all those around us. And it is good for God, as we are joining Him in advancing His Kingdom.
When God commands us to do something, it is always for the best. His expression of these truths is found in Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, WITH THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, WILL GUARD your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
These truths are reiterated in an article in the latest Reader’s Digest, entitled “The Goodness of Gratitude,” saying, “people who wrote thank you letters or performed good deeds for a six-week period decreased their pain, upped their energy, accomplished more every day, and improved their mental health for up to six months. And you can reap these benefits at any age.”
God’s wisdom is far deeper than we can imagine! It is our privilege and responsibility to live out Psalm 50:23 (“He who offers the sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me and opens the way that I may show him the salvation of the Lord” by making every day a “Thanksgiving Day.”
Do yourself and many others a good turn and offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving in each event, especially the ones you don’t like—then watch God work!