Is Your Lack of Gratitude Keeping You in an Emotional Slum?

May 24, 2023 THE MMA TEAM

Can we be honest? Many are facing tough times. It doesn’t matter if it’s in your marriage, parenting, health, finances, career, friendships, or ministry, the pressures of life can be crushing. This is why as believers in Christ, we need to rely on God to help us in our everyday living. Then our overriding response can be one of worship and not of anxiety, hopelessness, anger, or faint-heartedness.

A great example of this is Psalm 116. The Psalmist says in verse twelve, “What will I give to the Lord [in return] for all His benefits towards me? [How can I repay Him for His precious blessings?]”.

This is a response of gratitude after the Psalmist cried out to the Lord in prayer for protection and deliverance from death. His petition was heard and answered by God.

When we are in an emotional state of distress it is important to acknowledge what we experience, how we feel and to process it healthily as we navigate through challenging times. But it is also crucial to release those debilitating things to the Lord. When our heart is a sanctuary of praise and worship, gratitude comes afterwards .

When was the last time you forgave yourself or someone who wronged you? Forgiveness is the soothing balm that gives aid to healing an emotional or spiritual wound. Apply and use it as often as needed. It is not always easy, but it is necessary.  Receiving God’s gift of forgiveness not only positions us to unwrap the eternal gift of salvation, but it also opens us up to experiencing the fullness of life in the present.  

Through gratitude for the abundance of life in Christ, we can carry ourselves confidently in submissive wonder because we exchanged ashes for a crown of beauty, mourning for oil of joy, and instead of a spirit of despair, we put on a garment of praise.

The problem isn’t feeling our emotions, they are God-given and needed in our human journey.

They can be warning detectors when boundaries have been crossed or you’ve witnessed injustice. They can also ignite sparks of joy when a baby is born or saturate our souls with hope when we see a miracle. The problem is when we allow our emotions to dictate our outcome negatively. Christians have direct access to the power of the Holy Spirit. Scripture says, “We abide in Him and He in us (John 15:4). There’s nothing too hard for God. Surrendering our mind, will, and emotions to Him daily, positions us to re-experience a renewal in spirit.

I invite you to practice gratitude more frequently. Let the words of your mouth and the meditation of your heart be acceptable in the sight of the Lord (Psalm 19:14).

When you wake up, be thankful for a new day. When you get ready for bed, acknowledge that you are blessed. Write in your journal three things that you are appreciative of daily or weekly. Take a nature walk and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. Enjoy time with your family and friends. Remember what God has already done.

These are just some things that you can do to practice gratitude. You won’t always feel like being thankful, but you’ll feel better when you do it. Life is like a vapor. Let’s not waste it setting up residency in an emotional slum.  

Right now, I pray that you choose gratitude. I am grateful for this opportunity for us to connect in this way, it’s not by coincidence. May the Lord continue to minister to you and May His grace and peace multiplied to you.

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