Weekly message from Cypress Church: Pause and be thankful

1 Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

It has been said that Mr. Rogers, from the long lasting Children’s television show “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” when he would make public appearances as a speaker, guest on a talk show, out with people, or in his role as a minister, he would pause and ask people for a moment of silence to think about, ” all the people who have helped you become who you are, those who cared about you and wanted what was best for you in life”. It was an opportunity to pause and appreciate, and be thankful for those who have encouraged us, helped us, coached us, cared for us, challenged us, or guided us. Mr. Rogers even did this at the Emmys when he accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award. For it is a good practice to pause and be thankful. We live such busy lives where once we are done with one thing, we are so quickly on to the next thing, and we don’t soak in the joy of the moment or appreciate all that has happened. It is a good thing to pause and be thankful.

In an online article from Psychology Today, entitled 7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude, seven blessings are revealed. These benefits from exchanging self-pity for gratitude range from opening the doors to more relationships, improving our physical health, building empathy and reducing aggression, and even sleeping better. There is proven research showing that to pause and be thankful is truly a blessing. The Bible encourages us to pause and be thankful for God.

Psalms 107:1 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for His steadfast love endures forever!

Psalm 9:1-2 I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.I will be glad and exult in you;I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

Ephesians 5:20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Not only does it benefit us when we choose to pause and be thankful, but it also greatly encourages others. The Apostle Paul was good at thanking others.

Ephesians 1:16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,

Philippians 1:3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,

Colossians 1:3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,

I’m sure the people who received this thank you were encouraged and built up. I know I am when I am appreciated. This past weekend, one of my grandsons came over to our house. When he saw me, he ran to me, jumped up in my arms and gave me a huge, arms wrapped around my neck, legs wrapped around my body kind of embrace. He was hugging so tight. He said, “I have missed you Papa.” He did not let go for a long time, not saying a word. Then he said, “I am so glad you are my Papa.” Wow, was I both encouraged and built up, and anything I was concerned about or stressed about just melted away. Giving thanks does that to others.

So why not take a moment right now in reading this and pause and think of all the people who have helped you, encouraged you, guided you and challenged you. Also, thank God for watching over you, for orchestrating circumstances and people to help you grow to be that amazing person He created you to be. So go ahead and take a moment to pause and be thankful.

Church can be a great place to take moments and be thankful. If you don’t have a church you regularly attend, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or one of our branch churches. We are in a great teaching series talking about what the Bible says about loving our neighbors. Our website has more information: http://www.cypresschurch.net. You can even attend one of our live-streaming services (see http://live.cypresschurch.net/). We would love for you to join us.