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An Attitude of Thanksgiving by Sarah Judge

I recently had a conversation with a colleague at work that left me feeling so challenged and encouraged but not guilty. Chatting about life and the different ways that we can often react to situations that may not appeal to us or seem to be in our favour that can often bring us down instead of building us up. 

She let me in on a way that helps her realize that she might not have been very thankful. The way she beats not being thankful is…..She turns it on it’s head and says thank you for what she has instead of what she doesn’t have. She used this example - washing the dishes! Who loves washing the dishes? I certainly don't, but, washing dishes means that we have food in our home to nourish us, it means that we might have had visitors over who we can share a meal with and build relationships.You see, as we change our perspective of how we view situations, our lifestyle and attitude will naturally change too. Having an attitude of thanksgiving and giving thanks to Jesus builds us up and helps us see all the wonders that we have been blessed with. 

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

The current times that we're living in are ones that haven't been entirely pleasant. I know that for myself, Lockdown in South Africa was incredibly busy, bringing work home and working more than I would in normal circumstances, and at the same time practically living out a “second honeymoon” (not really) as a newly married woman. An incredibly challenging time that I had to take a step back from and with my God goggles on, look at my personal situation and Thank God for what I had- a job, an amazing man who I could spend time with and get to know as my husband, a beautiful new home, and more intentional time spent with the Lord. 

God’s will for us it to live our lives wholly devoted to Him

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7

As followers of Christ we have the immense privilege and opportunity to give thanks to a God that we get to know personally, who loves us and is interested in every part of our lives. He is interested in what we think is good and what we think is bad. He stands with us but he also goes before us. When we can understand that God is all knowing, is all powerful, and omnipresent, to name a few, I believe that the way we look at our circumstances starts to change, creating more of a thankful attitude. This affects the way that we live, not just with our words but with our actions too. 

I will praise the name of God with song, And shall magnify Him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30 

When we learn to be thankful for the things we might not like as well as the things we love, thanksgiving becomes a natural part of our lives- God's will for our lives. Giving thanks for what we have should become a daily practice. Giving thanks also means thanking Jesus for who He is in our lives. It means making a joyful noise, unto the Lord. We need to give thanks to and for our King. God delights in our praises, and loves hearing us magnify Him. Thanking Jesus for our salvation and grace helps remind us of who we live for and the kind of example that we get to be to those around us. 

Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. 1 Chronicles 16:8

Thanksgiving is an act of worship. As we worship Jesus we are saying, Lord you are worthy of praise, you are worthy of thanks and honour. When we give thanks to Jesus,we are saying, Lord we worship you, we give you full control of our lives. When we give our lives to Jesus we give Him control of our lives, so as an act of worship, let’s give thanks, let’s live our lives with a thankful heart. 

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34

Sarah Judge, 25 years old, was born and is currently living in Johannesburg, South Africa with her new handsome husband Jarrod Judge. 

They serve on the deacon team at Venture church and love living/doing life with the community around them. Serving in and out of their local church is a priority to both Sarah and Jarrod love getting involved in whatever they can. Sarah is also passionate about worship and has been leading worship for a number of years now. She loves having people in her home, young or old, singles or couple, the more the better. Give her a challenge and she will take it on with all she has. 

After her schooling, Sarah was a part of what's now called Destiny Leadership Academy at One Life Church, which was followed by a 4 year degree in Fine Arts at the Witwatersrand University. Sarah currently works as a Printmaker and a practising artist on the side, but loves sharing her knowledge with other people about life and all the little and big things in it. Creativity is a big part of the Judge household, whether it be art, design, photo and video or music, they love it all.

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