The root of all joy is gratitude. It is not joy that makes us grateful. It is gratitude that makes us joyful. Count your blessings, not your burdens. Someone told me that she keeps a gratitude journal. Everyday she writes down the blessings she has experienced during that day, and when she looks at it, it reminds her that God is good, that life is good, and there is so much to give thanks for. What if you began to keep a gratitude journal? I love the lady I met at Georgia Baptist Hospital years ago who was ninety years old, who was wheel-chair bound, and lived in constant pain, but three days a week she would be wheeled to the pediatric floor of the hospital. She was a retired teacher. She would just go and read children’s books to sick children. Everyone, patients, parents, nurses, and staff looked forward to her visits. She was such a joy carrier. One day I asked her the source of her joy, and she said, “I read somewhere the devil loves a cross, cranky, complaining old woman, and I didn’t want the devil loving me. So, I get up every morning and I just give thanks for a new day, I count my blessings, I rejoice, and I find a way to bless someone else.” She found the secret of joy. It is gratitude. Joy-filled people are not people who don’t have problems or messes. They are just people who choose to count their blessings and to live praising God. Rejoice and count your blessings.
– Dr. Tim Thompson