A Spirit of Thankfulness Brings Love, Hope, Joy, and Peace

“A Spirit of Thankfulness Brings Love, Hope, Joy, and Peace”
By Joan Y. Edwards

Here is a link to a video of this Lenten Reflection I did for St. Matthew Catholic Church on Friday, February 23, 2024.

 When you are feeling hopeless, anxious, resentful, or depressed because you feel you do not have enough of what you want or need, thank God for what you do have. A spirit of thankfulness will bring you love, hope, joy, and peace. Gratitude helps you focus on what you have instead of what you don’t have.

 As a teenager, I watched a neighbor dig up azalea bushes and take them away to her friend’s house across town. I asked her “Why?” Her response was: “Because my family doesn’t appreciate them.”

If you aren’t thankful for things, will God take them away from you? No. God is not like that. God gives to you freely without expecting anything in return.

When you are thankful, you receive more of what you are grateful for. Tests prove that gratefulness produces more dopamine and serotonin, the “feel good” hormones, in your body. It makes you feel happier and healthier immediately. It gives you such a warm feeling of hope, joy, love, and peace that you search for more reasons to be thankful, to experience that “good feeling” over and over again.

Choose a rock and designate it as your Gratitude Rock. Keep it in your pocket or put it in a good place to remind you to say “Thank you, God for the big and the small.”

 Being thankful makes you aware of God’s light of love, hope, joy, and peace deep inside you. You feel it so strongly that you want to share this good feeling with others. You hold a door open for someone. You pay for the food for the next person in line at a restaurant. Tell God, “I love you, Lord. Thank you for my many blessings. I am doing this for you.”
1. Positive Psychology has learned through tests that when we express gratitude and receive the gift of thankfulness, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, the two crucial neurotransmitters responsible for our emotions, and they make us feel ‘good’. They enhance our mood immediately, making us feel happy from the inside.
2. “Neuroscience of Gratitude:” https://positivepsychology.com/neuroscience-of-gratitude/The Neuroscience of Gratitude and Effects on the Brain
3. Scripture about Thanksgiving:
St. Paul the Apostle said to the people of Phillipi in Greece: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
4. National Christian Foundation says: Giving is a grace from God. He empowers us to give, fills us with joy when we do, and then often replenishes our supplies, so we can give more.
2 Corinthians 9
5. Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.  You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
2 Corinthians 9:10-11

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 Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards, Author
Copyright © 2009-2024 Joan Y. Edwards

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8 thoughts on “A Spirit of Thankfulness Brings Love, Hope, Joy, and Peace”

    1. Dear Carol,
      Thank you for writing. You’re right. Being thankful to the Lord is huge!
      It can lift our spirits when we are thankful for the blessings we have in the face of sadness.

      Never Give Up

  1. Thank you, Joan. A gratitude list for the good things I can find in the just-past day is the first thing I do before settling for sleep. Then I may send metta (unconditional love) to specific people or groups or everybody. Then a few times a week I may do a forgiveness prayer. Then I meditate.

  2. Thanks, Joan! What a beautiful and inspiring message which reminds me of the many blessings I have received, and continue to receive, from God. You are certainly among them.

    1. Dear Ann,
      Thank you for writing. I’m glad you enjoyed this reflection on Thankfulness. I remember the day we met for lunch at Dragonfly many moons ago. You are a good friend to all those who know you. Enjoy being you!

      Never Give Up

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