Many of us have had a year of questions, some chaos, some illness, some death, and yet some still have much to be thankful for. What if you started each day with gratitude? First of all: “This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.” You woke up, you can breathe and you can see, and more than likely you can get out of bed. We take life for granted. Have you thanked the Lord? Did you know that all you have to do is open the Bible to the center, it should fall open to the Book Psalms.  Now, read one. I personally guarantee if you do, you will be lifted up. It is a matter of cultivating a heart of praise and thanksgiving.

It’s time to reflect on what truly matters and what we are thankful for. David praised God in the entire book of Psalms. He praised God, regardless of what he was struggling with or the trouble he was facing. As you read the Psalms you will see how easily the Psalms can be a part of your own walk. No matter what happens, it’s still very important to give thanks. Grateful for all things, even if it’s not Thanksgiving. The more you can be thankful, the more you realize the things you must be thankful for.

We in the US, who have not been outside of our blessed country, do not always understand what it means to be thankful. As you drive down dusty barren streets and see women carrying water on their heads in a less than sanitary 5 gallon containers, you are thankful. As you see people in all they have, is on their backs, you are thankful. As you see young women with back pain from working with a baby on their back, you are thankful. When you dispense glasses to someone who hasn’t been able to see clearly, you are thankful. When you are able to lay hands and pray for a person you don’t know, you are thankful.

Each holiday season comes with great expectations, yet this may be a season with sadness, anxiety, or feeling lonely. Harvard medical research helps us understand how gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people have more positive emotions, feel good experiences, improve health and are able to handle adversity. Thanking and praising God for bringing you through every circumstance that comes your way.

How is it possible to experience joy and thanksgiving during chaos and the stress around us? It is through the power of praise and thanksgiving. I am sure once you get started on the referenced scriptures below, you will be able to add some of your own. I know there are many chapters in the Bible to share thanksgiving. What a blessing for you to find one that is personally meaningful to you.

 ALL Psalms 7:17; 9:1; 35:18; 69:29-30; 95:1-3; 100:4-5; 106:48; 107:1; 118:19-24:119:62

This article originally appeared on Lake Sun Leader: Are you thankful?