A Thankfulness Challenge: 5-Minutes, 5 Categories, 3 Weeks

With Free Images Every Day Until Thanksgiving

Last November, I shared 14 images with Bible verses about thankfulness and gratitude. People told me they shared them, printed them, and posted them. Two years ago, I challenged you to five minutes a day of thankfulness. This year, I’m combining the two and adding an extra week’s worth of images!

A Thankfulness Challenge

I have included the first seven images at the bottom of this post. However, I will also be sharing one each day on my Facebook Page. Certainly the easiest way to share them is to like my page and share them right from your news feed.

Frequently, it’s difficult to be thankful. In fact, it is pretty easy to find reasons to not be thankful.

We should all take this thankfulness challenge not because we want to do it. We should take the challenge because we need to do it. That’s why I’m doing it.

When I look at much of what’s happening around me, I don’t feel thankful. There are many, many things that are not “thankfulness-worthy.” And not just small things. Big, important, really hard things as well.

For example…

  • Friends whose newborn is still in the hospital…after four months.
  • Continued racial tension around our country…and the world.
  • A good friend who recently lost his job…after two decades with the company.
  • Two presidential candidates that have forced me to apologize to my own kids for leaders I don’t want them to be like.

Ugh.

I want to complain. I want to whine. I want to gripe. I don’t want to be thankful.

That’s why I’m doing this. That’s why I need this thankfulness challenge. Will you join me?

The challenge is simple in concept (but I have a feeling it’ll be tougher to complete).

Step 1: Commit to five minutes every day for the next three weeks. (In case you’re not looking at a calendar, that’ll take you to Thanksgiving morning.)

Step 2: Spend one minute being thankful in each of five categories. (More on that a few inches down.)

Step 3: Share something you are thankful for (that God brought to mind during your five minutes) on my Facebook Page or with a friend who is also doing the challenge. BTW…When you share on Twitter or Facebook, would you use #ThankfulnessChallenge so I can follow along? Thanks.

That’s it. Not complicated. But so necessary.

5 Types of Thankfulness for One Minute Each

Thank God for WHO He is.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!” Psalm 118:1 NLT

When was the last time you simply thanked God for who He is? For being…well…God.

Take one minute to focus on one characteristic of God. Or maybe spend a minute listing as many of God’s amazing attributes as you can.

Thank God for HOW He has been faithful.

“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” Psalm 9:1 NIV

I forget so quickly. God has done so many amazing things in my life over the last four decades. My tendency is to forget the many things He has done, and focus only on what He’s not doing right now that I think He should be doing.

Ugh.

For all their flaws, the Israelites did a pretty good job of setting aside times specifically to remember. Most of the times they messed up, it was when they weren’t doing this. In fact, many of the Psalms are poems of gratitude for what God has done. (For starters, check out these Psalms: 26, 28, 56, 75, 100, 105, 106, 107, and 118.)

Thank God for WHAT He has provided.

“…always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20 NIV

A while back, I was chatting over coffee with a good friend. He and I got to talking about how we live in a “Culture of More.” We always think we need more. More stuff. Even when we know we don’t need more…we want more.

I don’t spend enough time thanking God for what I already have. Being grateful for the abundance of “stuff” (both necessary stuff and just-for-fun stuff).

Never is the “Culture of More” shouting more loudly than November and December. Spending even one minute every day being grateful for what we already have is probably a pretty good idea.

Thank God for WHOM He has put in your life.

“We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly.” I Thessalonians 1:2 NLT

My single-most favorite characteristic about the Apostle Paul is how much he tells people he is thankful for them. He doesn’t stop at telling them he’s thankful. He tells them he’s praying for them. And he tells them exactly how he’s praying for them. How cool is that?

When was the last time you took an inventory of the people you’re thankful for? Past and present. The people God has used to shape you, encourage you, challenge you, comfort you, and inspire you.

Now (and this part will take more than a minute), what would happen if you actually wrote a letter where the first line was “I thank my God every time I remember you…”? (Philippians 1:3)

Go ahead. Write at least one of those this month. I triple-dog-dare you! (Extra points if you put that movie reference in the comments below.)

Thank God for WHERE He will show up in the future.

Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” Romans 4:20-21 NIV

unknown-future-known-god-corrie-ten-boomDo you ever thank God in advance for what He’s going to do? My tendency is to thank Him for what He’s done, but only ask Him to do something in the future.

If He’s not bound by time (which He isn’t)

…and He can do anything (which He can)

…and He is good (which He is)

…and He always works for what is ultimately best for us (which He does)

…then doesn’t it seem like the most right and natural thing is for us to thank Him in advance for whatever He is going to do?

This Week’s Scripture Pics

1-corinthians-15-56-57

colossians

daniel-2-23

jeremiah-30-19

jonah-2_9

phil-1-3-4

psalm-30-4-5

5 Minutes. 5 Categories. 3 Weeks. God is worthy (and we both need it)!

Question: Will you join me on the Thankfulness Challenge? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Please note: I love conversation, so feel free to share your thoughts - even if you don't agree with something I write. But let's all make sure we're polite. I reserve the right to send any mean-spirited, offensive, spammy, or off-topic comments to the cyber-junk-pile.

18 thoughts on “A Thankfulness Challenge: 5-Minutes, 5 Categories, 3 Weeks

  1. Thanks Keith for this awesome challenge. I will not only do it, but pass it along to others. I hope this goes viral big time! Maybe we will be able to get at least some of the attention away from a dead bird to God this November.

    • Thanks for being willing to share it! If you share it on Facebook, tag my ministry (www.facebook.com/keithferrin) and if you share it on Twitter, I’m using #533ThankfulnessChallenge so that we can have a conversation about it throughout the weeks. BTW – I think you have to “Like” my page before you can tag me on Facebook.

  2. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! I will take this challenge. Something that the Lord has recently laid on my heart pertains to your challenge to write at least one letter to a person He has placed in our life, beginning with “I thank my God every time I remember you”. My sons are almost at an age to leave the nest and I still have the joy of being told by others what they appreciate about my sons. But in an ever-transient society many of my friends have parents who live far away, often in a different state. We all know how much it means when someone loves our kids. It’s often a greater gift than when they love on us. Recently, I have begun writing letters to the parents (mom or dad) of my friends telling them specific ways their daughter or son has blessed me and thanking them for their part in raising them. Sometimes the parent was not a believer as they raised their son or daughter, so it has served as an ointment for some residual pain they have from that time. Words can be so healing. This is one of my favorite ways to love on my friends – by not just telling them how much they mean to me, but telling their families.

    • What a thoughtful blessing. It’s a real way of acknowledging the influence my friend(s) AND their parents have had. I’m not so good at expressing myself, but I can do this. Thanks for sharing Lurer to the Rock.

    • Such a fantastic idea! My cousin did a “Letter a Day” during Lent one year. I had another friend who sent a card to his mother-in-law every year on his wife’s birthday. And I completely agree – words are extremely powerful. Amen.

  3. Hi Keith – All of us here at Cool Water Ministries, Jamaica are taking the challenge! Jamaica does not celebrate a Thanksgiving holiday but you don’t need a holiday to be thankful for the countless blessings God has lavished on us! May you and all of your readers be even more thankful this Thanksgiving season. Blessings Jay

  4. Good morning Keith – I’m in. Great timing. The last one is the hardest for me but I think I’m supposed to be “marinating” there at this point in my life. My take-away from Sunday’s church homily was “We need to trust our unknown future to our knowable God.” Thanks for helping me be intentional!

  5. I love this idea, thank you for issuing the challenge, Keith!! I love the different categories of thankfulness too – fantastic! Can’t wait to share and get started! 🙂

  6. Wow, thanks Kieth for such a timely exercise. God is so good and I thank Him for tutting you into my life.

  7. I will take the challenge beginning today. I will be sharing this with my prayer partners and encouraging them to do it also. Thank you for your ministry and for answering Gods call to serve Him.

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