As life is getting more difficult, more thankful we should be.
- Because gratitude is the best weapon to fight against anxiety.
- Last week, we reflected that when life is difficult, we should stop and think.
- Yes, it is important to stop and think when life is difficult.
- But I want you to do one more thing.
- Be thankful.
- When life is difficult, be thankful.
- It sounds funny but trust me.
- It will do a lot of good.
- Practice your gratitude.
- When life is difficult, our hearts look for reasons to complain naturally.
- We stand in front of two roads.
- One leads to complaint and the other leads to gratitude.
- The road that leads to complaint will take us to a darker place, a place where death is.
- But the road that leads to gratitude will take us to a brighter place where there is life.
- Instead of taking the road to complaints, we should take the road to gratitude.
- When everything goes well we are thankful but when things don’t go well, we complain.
- I want you to reverse this.
- When everything goes well, be joyful and when things don’t go so well, be thankful.
- I think that is the secret of happy life.
Find a notebook.
- Any notebook.
- Start writing a gratitude journal.
- Make a habit of doing that in this difficult time.
- You can do that as soon as you wake up or just before you go to bed.
- If you write it in the morning, you start your day with gratitude.
- If you write it before you go to bed, you go to sleep with gratitude.
- It doesn’t matter.
- If you want start the day with gratitude and go to sleep with thankfulness, you can write twice a day.
- Don’t write it generally.
- Be specific.
- About things, about people, about your experiences.
- Don’t repeat the same thing.
- Be creative.
- Try to find something new every day.
- It may get harder but if you keep doing it, you will find new things to be thankful.
- Instead of making a list, write sentences.
- As you do this exercise every day, you will realize that you are becoming free from worries and anxiety.
Today’s Psalm is a jewel of all the psalms.
- It is the most beloved psalm.
- Read it twice a day until this self-isolation is finished.
- In the morning and in the evening.
- You will become much brighter.
David didn’t write this psalm not when his life was going very well.
- He wrote this when his life was difficult.
- His enemies were around him trying to destroy him.
- He was going through the darkest valley.
- His soul was filled with despair and he was very tired.
- In the midst of all this, he wrote this beautiful psalm.
The whole psalm was summarized in the first verse.
- “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1)
- The rest of his psalm was elaboration of this.
- Because the Lord was his shepherd, he did not need anything else.
- That was enough.
St. Paul made a similar confession.
- “Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13)
- This is the reason for us to be thankful.
- God is our shepherd.
- God is with us and he provides what we need.
We are all very tired.
- Parents with little children have to struggle with their children all day.
- And they still have to work from home.
- That is not easy.
- There are also people who are financially difficult.
- They worry about their financial future.
- The longer this pandemic goes, the more anxious people become.
- Mentally and spiritually, we are tired.
- What we need is rest.
- “He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters.” (Psalm 23:2)
- God will restore our souls.
- When we are thankful, God will work within us.
- God will give us the power to overcome our anxiety.
- The more you think about negative things, the more anxious you become.
- When you are thankful, you naturally think about more positive things.
- That is important.
The shadow of death hovers over us every day.
- We hear every day how many deaths we have in our city, province, and the whole world.
- We are threatened by death.
- God we believe is God who gives us life.
- Even though we walk through the shadow of death, God will be with us.
- Jesus showed us that there is life after death through his resurrection.
- Death cannot threaten us anymore.
- It cannot bind us.
- If we have no hope for the eternal life, death will sabotage us.
- We will not have true rest and peace.
- But now in Jesus, we feel the eternal peace.
- Let us thank God for giving us life and life eternal.
- One of our KSM elders is very sick right now.
- I called him and all he said was “Thank you.”
- I was very moved.
- I prayed for him with gratitude and it brought tears to my eyes.
- When we are thankful, we can overcome even our own death.
- Let us be thankful.
- Let us overcome our crises with gratitude.