Why Gratitude is the Key to Living in Joy

HELLO YES I AM HERE TO FAITHFULLY DELIVER A THANKSGIVING POST TO YOUR FEEDS. And we all know that when I try to write something that's not in a list it ends up being just a tad rambly. So. Be warned. 



Sometimes it's easy to feel like everything is going wrong in the world, am I right? It's easy to feel like no one cares about how you feel, or that nothing will ever work out. It's easy to get stressed out about things (*cough*NaNo*cough*) and lose sight of what's really important. But you know what I think is easier than all of those? 

Failing to be grateful for what we've been given. 

Just think about. Right now, there at least four things you can be thankful for, no matter who you are. 1) your heart's beating, 2) you have wi-fi, 3) you have the ability to read, 4) you're reading my blog. (lucky you! xP) 

Alright, alright. That was more or less for the sake of humor- but the point is still important. 

No matter your situation, there's always something to be grateful for.

Even when it seems like your world is falling apart, there's always something, something that you can choose to recognize and choose to be thankful for. 

And I think that's key- because gratitude is a choice. It's not something that comes naturally. 

You, as an individual, have a choice to make. 

Are you going to choose gratitude, or discontentment? Are you going to choose to find the things you can be thankful for in your everyday life, or are you going to choose to ignore the gifts you've been given? 

It's only once you've chosen to become thankful in everything can you take the focus off of yourself and your own problems and instead begin to see the world in a new light. To see the struggles of others around you. To find beauty in the least expected places. To choose that instead of focusing on the things that are going wrong, you can find the joy and meaning in life.

Just as Jesus chose that instead of being served He was going to serve- you can do the same. You can recognize hurting now that you're not so focused on yourself, and you can reach out to others around you. 

And all this starts- just when you choose to be grateful and count your blessings. 

Stop focusing on everything that's gone wrong in your life, and start focusing on everything that's gone right. 

Your sins are forgiven. Your old man has been crucified. God will never leave you nor forsake you. You can know where you're going when you die. If God is for you, no one can be against you. Nothing can separate you from the love of Christ. (and if all that doesn't make any sense to you, PLEASE don't hesitate to drop a comment or shoot me an email with the contact form, I'd love to discuss it with you!)

When you're ready to focus on the blessings God has given you, that's when you can truly show others the love of Christ. That's when you can get your mind off yourself and start sharing the Gospel. 

Because in the end- our joy doesn’t come from your self worth. It comes from what Christ has made us and what he's doing for us. 

Which may seem like a foreign concept to many of us. Joy that doesn’t depend on ourselves? Joy that is completely disjointed from our self worth? 

But that’s exactly what Jesus gave us when He died on the cross. He gave us true life, true meaning, that doesn’t come from ourselves. It comes from Him. It comes from outside of our changing, shifting, undependable selves, and shifts the focus to someone who never changes. And because our joy isn’t found in ourselves or our circumstances, but instead in Him, it’s constant. Steady. 

This is the greatest blessing of all- a blessing we can choose to accept when we trust Him as our Savior. 


WELL THAT'S IT. Kinda long, but hopefully some of you liked it! xD NOW TELL ME ABOUT YOUR THANKSGIVING PLANS, NINJAS. Anyone going out of town? :D

~ Jonathan 

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25 comments:

  1. Loved this post, Jonathan! (Also, still can't get over how our posts are so fabulously similar.) But seriously, this is so encouraging, and I really enjoyed it.

    "He gave us true life, true meaning, that doesn’t come from ourselves. It comes from Him. It comes from outside of our changing, shifting, undependable selves, and shifts the focus to someone who never changes. And because our joy isn’t found in ourselves or our circumstances, but instead in Him, it’s constant. Steady. "

    *applause*

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    1. Thanks so much for the help! :D (IKR I was reading yours like 'If I compliment this will that sound egotistical?' :P)

      *bow* xP

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  2. *grins cuz you called me a ninja*

    anyways, yes, everything you said was true..gosh it all.

    TOMORROW IS THANKSGIVING WHAAAA???????.. *gotta go make apple pie*

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    1. but actually I called you a ninja a while ago *points to google friend connect*

      well thanks glad you agree :D

      IKR I FELT THE SAME WAY XD

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  3. *slow clap*

    Well done. Bravo. Gratitude is the attitude, and all that. I loved this post.

    Last Sunday I heard in a sermon that as Christians, we should be known for our joy. And joy isn't exactly the same as happiness, I think. Happiness is a shallow form of joy... joy is JOY WITHOUT EARTHLY REASON. Because God. (That didn't make much sense. :-P)

    "you have wi-fi" HAHAHA. YES. SO THANKFUL FOR WIFI. ;-P

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    1. WELL THANKS SO MUCH glad you liked it!! :D

      Yes, I totally agree. Joy IS NOT EQUAL to happiness. *nods* (haha no I think it made sense :P)

      IKR IT'S SO TRUE

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  4. Nice post! it helps during this crazy season to put things in perspective. I only have two issues
    1: Is Wi-Fi that important?
    and
    2: You crucified my old man?! dude!!

    (now I know you didn't mean it like that I just couldn't help but make a joke :D )

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    1. Yeah, he did, we all did, with our sins, so to speak. ;)
      I may as well put me comment in this reply.
      Thank you. Just Thank you, for reminding me to do one of the many things I forget or don't do.

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    2. @Marrok Well thanks, glad you enjoyed! :D
      1. UM YES IT IS. Otherwise you wouldn't be able to read this! :P
      2. Well no I didn't, Christ did. xP

      (Hehehehehe)

      @Joseph Right on! And no problem, glad you enjoyed. :D

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  5. Amen! So encouraging to see other young people out there trying to spread this message and be positive :D Thanks for sharing! I used to keep a thankfulness journal, which really changed my out look on things, right now I just text one of my friends a list everyday and we challenge each other to find the Joy even in hard moments :) I heard a sermon a while back about how with Jesus, even when we are suffering we can have Joy, because Joy does not always mean everything going out way. So many things to be thankful for!! #TooBlessedToStress

    We are hosting like 30 of my moms extended family... who are kinda from the other side of the tracks (if you get my meaning ;) Gospel Opportunity right??

    I hope you and yours have an AMAZING thanksgiving!! And as Pastor said on Sunday, I hope we all can remember it's not all about the food!! XD

    -Faith

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    1. Well thanks, Faith, glad you enjoyed! Ah I started a thankfulness journal once but it only lasted for like... well... a day? xD I should try to get back into that though! Texting is definitely a good way also. ;) Yes, amen, I totally agree. And I LOVE that hashtag okay *adopts it* XP

      Whoaaaa that's a lot of people. O.O Hope that went well for you! Haha yup, that's absolutely right! :D

      Thanks so much, we did! We went over to my pastor's house for a Thanksgiving get-together. I HOPE YOUR GUYS'S WAS FABULOUS ALSO :)

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    2. Yes, it really feels great to just stop and "count your blessings name them one by one, count your blessing see what God has done"

      Haha, I actually think I got that quote from a thankfulness journal my mom, sister and I made for a thankfulness moms meeting, and it just stuck so yeah :D
      #TooBlessedToStress

      Uhuh, yeah it was a lot of people XD I'm normally Extroverted, but lol, I was rather quiet XD I tried to be sociable and all, but I *uhum* kinda *hid* in the bedroom half the day XD My parents were totally fine with that, becasue they understand haha, but I'm glad that those family members had a place to meet and see each other and catch up on life and hopefully our family was a Godly example for them.
      It was interesting. The Ham was delicious though!! (I don't really like turkey)

      I'm glad you had a good Thanksgiving!! Now, I'm full swing Christmas! I actually put up my sisters and I's tree last night, we still haven't got our big one yet though. Also Black Friday shopping!! We did low key and thankfully no one was acting crazy in town (that we saw anyway). So it was fun and we got some great deals :) How about you? Do you ever for Black Friday shopping?

      Live long and prosper! *Does Star Trek hand thingy*

      -Faith

      "Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of Christ"
      -Sheila Walsh

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    3. Yes indeed, it truly is!

      Oh haha well STILL IT'S FABULOUS #TooBlessedtoStress

      Ah well that's still fun though, even if you are hiding in your room lol. ;) I'm glad you got to have them over though!

      YES SAME. CHRISTMASTIME IS HEEEERRREEE *singing* XD Ooh you guys went Black Friday shopping? I APPLAUD YOU you're such brave souls to go out in all those crowds. :P I haven't ever gone before but my Mom and my sisters have :D

      LOL *does it back even though it's hard to get my fingers into that position*

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  6. "But that’s exactly what Jesus gave us when He died on the cross. He gave us true life, true meaning, that doesn’t come from ourselves. It comes from Him. It comes from outside of our changing, shifting, undependable selves, and shifts the focus to someone who never changes. And because our joy isn’t found in ourselves or our circumstances, but instead in Him, it’s constant. Steady." 100% ABSOLUTELY YES.

    And Thanksgiving is tomorrow? UM. Yeaaaah. (Just don't think about how close Christmas is. DON'T DO IT. *too late*) Well, my grandparents are in town, so we're doing Thanksgiving with them! Definitely gonna have a turkey. And some pie. And cider. (Can't go without cider.)

    (You changed your header??!?! IT'S NICE.)

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    1. WELL THANKS GLAD YOU APPROVE. :D

      Ikr I felt the same, two weeks ago when you left this comment. (LOL I'm a bit late replying thsi time xP) Hope that went well though!

      (THANKS I LIKE IT ALSO :D)

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  7. Thanks for the great reminder! :)
    Hope you and your family have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

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    1. No problem! We did, thanks, hope you guys had a great one also :D

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  8. Yep. Rambly. *adds word to dictionary* But a good post nonetheless. ;) Thanks for the reminder. :) I was tempted to put in AMEN YOUKNOWWHO, as a reply to one or more of the comments above, just to see what you would say...(who am I kidding? I know exactly what you would say! B-) but refrained like the mature person I am. *cough*
    Hope you have an awesome Thanksgiving. ;)

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    1. Ikrrrrr isn't it such a good word? xD Well thanks. OMW YOU TOTALLY COULD HAVE SAID THAT I WOULD HAVE LAUGHED OUT LOUD. XD Ok well I won't debate you there :P
      Thanks, we did! Hope you guys had an awesome one as well :D

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  9. O.oooo

    *is reeling right now*

    dude. you put it into words. oh my goodness. i'm wigging. O.O

    "It comes from Him. It comes from outside of our changing, shifting, undependable selves, and shifts the focus to someone who never changes. And because our joy isn’t found in ourselves or our circumstances, but instead in Him, it’s constant. Steady."

    LIKE WAHT. HOW. *cradles these words* You are such a wise bean, and this really spoke to my soul. I'd figured out part of it, but this wordage just totally cleared a cloak from my mind. THANK YOU.

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    1. DARN IT HANNAH YOUR COMMENTS ALWAYS MAKE ME IRRATIONALLY HAPPY xP thanks so muuuuuuch

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  10. AMEN AMEN AMEN
    Are you really a blogger if you don't post something on thankfulness on Thanksgiving?
    I loved this and everything you said is so true! We are beyond blessed and God deserves every part of us, including our thanksgiving. Especially our Thanksgiving.

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    1. WELL THANKS XD
      Oh my word right? So accurate lol. Glad you enjoyed the post, Elizabeth!! :D

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