Before we go any further, I want you to take 10 seconds to think of something beautiful in your life and then give thanks for it. No matter how small it is take a minute to appreciate and thank God for it.
My point is this: we need to acknowledge beauty and the good things God gives us. More and more we find ourselves discontented and unsatisfied. This vacancy leads us to look for more or to look at what we have with disdain. As we learn to walk in gratitude we learn to see more the beauty God places in our lives. We acknowledge that he provides us with what we need, and blesses us constantly. Gratitude strips us of our selfishness, and helps us to receive things in a more complete way. It also creates a more generous heart in us. As we see the many good things we have, we hold less tightly to them and are more willing to bless others by sharing what we have.
So what do I mean by beauty? It can be anything. From the smile of a baby, a kind word, to a sunrise or flower, even the next breath you take. We need to learn to give thanks for the seemingly insignificant things in our lives. We need to see the things we do have and be grateful for them. Try this exercise, take time each morning when you get up or at night before you go to bed, think of one thing you are thankful for. As we acknowledge the beautiful gifts we have, we will begin to see things in a new way. We will become less concerned with what isn't working, what we don't have, the difficult circumstances we are in. We will become more centered on what God is doing in our lives, where we see God at work, and how we see the people we come into contact with everyday.
"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his[a]; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."