Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
A few weeks ago, my daughter started complaining- a lot. About everything. At first, I let it slide, because I thought she was just tired. But it became more and more constant, and really bothered me. We began talking about why we should focus on what is GOOD in our lives, as opposed to what's always wrong.
I know I'm as guilty (or more) as she is in this. My husband teases (not so jokingly) that I am a pessimist. Its hard for me to see beyond what's wrong, to see what is RIGHT. So, in order to speak into her life about thankfulness, I had to take a good look at my outlook on life. My example to her speaks volumes. Remember when mom used to say "Do as I say, not as I do." I think that's near impossible for kids to follow, since we usually end up mimicking those we admire most. I've come to realize that thankfulness is a choice, an attitude of life that we have to work at. Thankfulness doesn't come naturally in our human nature. I wish it did! Thankfulness is a work of the Holy Spirit in us made possible by each choice to see the positive in each situation.
Our family used to spend each night before the girls went to sleep thanking God for all He has given us, and then asking for His protection as we slept. We fell out of practice in this, and I believe this is where our family's outlook changed. Adding this back into our routine, and remembering each night, (and all through the day) the things we have that we don't deserve, helps keep our perspective right. Remembering that we are sinners, saved by the GIFT of grace, we know we don't deserve any of this good life. In fact, we deserve everything opposite of good. But He has given us a GOOD life. Even with all its ups and downs.
The devil would hope we would only think about what's wrong and how deserving we are. That is pride and selfishness that ends up mocking the sacrifice our Lord Jesus made. Ungratefulness can be dangerous...and does NOT lead to life. Ungratefulness leads to the need to "get" as much as we can by our own hands (because if we don't get it for ourselves, no one will). It does not seek to give away what was so freely given to them. There is no peace for them, as they are always worried of not having enough.
There is a peace that comes from a thankful heart, a contentedness that transcends any circumstance, and guards our hearts against bitterness and ungratefulness, which ultimately leads to selfishness.
If we keep our minds on all the good things in our lives, the noble things, the things that are RIGHT, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy, we will see that we always have enough and more!