I recently finished reading "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. Through this book, God truly opened my eyes to the importance of giving thanks-- for each and every small thing in our lives, for the gift of salvation, for the beauty in the world. Jesus gave thanks before he performed the miracle of feeding the five thousand. He gave thanks when he broke bread at the last supper. Thanksgiving is what precedes the miracle, not only in the Bible but also in our lives. God asks me to give thanks in all circumstances, for all things, because He knows that the feeling of joy begins in the action of thanksgiving. God is showing me just how closely linked the act of thanksgiving and full joy in Him are related. This year I am asking God to open my eyes to the gifts and to place in my heart an attitude of thanksgiving in all that is to come in this new year.
"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18