Last post we talked about happiness and how to reach it using this verse as our guide:
“Only in the remembrance of God do the hearts find peace” (13:28).
Let’s add to that a little bit. One of the easiest ways to remember God is to be thankful to him.
Imagine living in a state of thankfulness. Not the superficial kind but the genuine kind. Your mind focuses on all the positive and the Good. No matter the conditions externally, within yourself, in your heart, you are thankful. This would definitely make all of us much happier.
Can we be thankful even during difficult times? Of course we can 🙂
“If you were to count God’s blessings, you would never be able to. God is indeed the Forgiving, Merciful” (16:18)
Even during the worst of times trust in God and know that he encompasses all. Remember all the blessings God put in your life and be confident that he is here with you. He will pull you through, just like he has countless times before.
Patience is like a badge. It’s earned by going through difficulty. You’ll never know how patient you are until you go through something significant. Well, thankfulness is just like that. You’ll never know the sincerity of your gratitude to God until you go through both the best and worst times in your life. It’s a necessary truth. In this world, all truth is made open and laid bare (you can ignore it, but it’s there). The greatest truth for each of us is the state that we cultivate our souls to reach. There is no greater cultivation than being at harmony with God. Since everything except God is a dependent, our true wholeness comes from submitting to the One, Independent.
Thankfulness is the path to God.
“If you are thankful, I will increase you, and if you are ungrateful, then my punishment is indeed strong” (14:7). (Note that ingratitude is not God punishing us but us punishing ourselves.1)
By being thankful we draw nearer to God. It’s like a plant slurping up rays of sunlight. As its thirst is quenched, it grows. It stretches out its branches and leaves growing ever nearer to the sun, and it grows, and it grows, and it grows. But if we were to be ungrateful, we end up punishing ourselves, like a plant shriveling up its leaves and refusing any light.
Thanklessness and hopelessness go hand and hand. If a plant chose to shrivel up its leaves, it’s choosing the path of hopelessness. Sometimes we human beings do this too. We feel depressed and see nothing good. We curl up and don’t want much to do with the sadness of life. But be strong and be patient. Everything you seek has always been with you. Your empowerment comes from God. The Light of God is in your heart and all about it. True happiness is in the Independent Creator.
Remember that the choice to be thankful is the choice to stretch out your branches and open up your leaves, while the choice to be thankless is the choice to curl them up and sulk. Remember God with your heart. Be thankful. Be happy 🙂
See you next post, God willing 🙂
1. The punishment we receive is not God punishing us. It’s really how we are punishing ourselves. Here’s a verse communicating this point:
“Are they waiting for angels to come to them or for the command of your Lord to descend? This is how those who were before them acted. And God did not wrong them but they wronged themselves” (16:33).
Please feel free to share your thoughts.