We each approach the world through a lens of personal opinions, experiences, and feelings. Our perspective colors our reality. It isn’t a far leap to assume that negative experiences and emotions and can color a negative point of view while positive experiences and emotions create a more positive outlook on life. Our perspective is shaped by what we choose to feed it. When we choose to give thanks and count our blessings, not only do our hearts change, but our perspectives gain a new outlook on life.
1. We see God for who He is.
Other religions paint their gods as beings of massive power each with an Achilles’ heel. The Greek and Roman gods are a mix of deity and human weakness, yet people worshipped and followed them blindly. The God of the Universe is powerful and perfect, acquainted with our sorrows, but without flaw or weakness, and He loves us. He is not out for His own selfish gain. Psalm 96:3 calls Him King and the great God, worthy of praise and thanksgiving. 1 Chronicles 16:34 calls Him good and loving. Psalm 28:7 calls Him a God who defends, protect, and helps. We do not serve a God woven from the flawed perspective of man. We are able to praise a God who is over all and therefore able to be fully God, good, sovereign, and loving. He is faithful, and worthy of our praise.
2. We see who we are in light of who He is.
We must truly see God for who He is before we will understand that our striving to be the god of our own lives is futile. As our perspective on God changes, so does our perspective on ourselves. Our discontentment is satisfied through thanksgiving and understanding His love and wonderful deeds (Psalm 107:8-9). Our interactions with other people become focused on reaching more people for the glory of God (2 Corinthians 4:15). We understand that apart from Him, we chase after the things of this world. When our minds and perspectives are fixed on Him, He renews our minds daily to want to chase Him more (2 Corinthians 4:16). We see ourselves as chosen, precious, a people made for God’s glory, and that drives us to live with minds fixed on thanking Him (1 Peter 2:9).
3. We shape our responses differently.
Our God is big, holy, and good, and He wants a relationship with us. When our mindsets are fixed on His goodness, we give thanks, and then how we respond to the world around us changes. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says that God’s desire is that we would praise Him in all circumstances. When we focus on the gift of His grace, we are enriched in knowledge and speech and want to share with everyone the gift that we have found (1 Corinthians1:4-5). Colossians 3:16-17 says we are to teach and admonish one another all with gratitude in our hearts to God. Living with a mindset of thanksgiving changes our responses to the world and people around us.
Gratitude changes our perspectives. Choosing to be grateful is a habit formed over time with consistent and persistent practice. Perhaps what we can be most thankful for today is that we are not forever left to wade through life’s problems, searching for the silver lining. We can take heart. He has overcome the world