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GRATITUDE: The Key to Joy & Inner Peace

Hello friends! I’m René François. I am loving life and hoping that you are loving your life, too! I have a question for you. Have you ever noticed that some people just seem to radiate positivity, even in the midst of really tough circumstances? What’s their secret? What do they know that many of us don’t? There’s a quote that I really like because it’s message contains one of the keys to maintaining a joyful spirit—even in the midst of difficult circumstances. It says:

“I’m Thankful for Today

Because I have weathered many storms

And, yet, I still find the courage to Blossom and Smile with each new day.”

Did you notice how the quote began? It began with “I’m thankful." In my work as a chaplain, I’ve noticed a recurring theme with patients who are at peace—in spite of having some really tough challenges. That recurring theme is GRATITUDE! Gratitude is the foundation upon which they’ve chosen to reframe their perspective to come to grips with a new normal. I recently met a gentleman in the hospital who has a terminal illness. I remember telling him how much I was impressed by his courage and ability to be so positive in the midst of such difficulty. I remember he paused, thought for a moment, then said “Chaplain, being this way is far better than the alternative.” He eloquently articulated gratitude for the life that he had been allowed to live and enjoy. Although he struggled with some degree of physical pain, he was spiritually and emotionally at peace! He made a choice. He chose to be grateful rather than to be bitter over the hand he’d been dealt. The result of his decision was spiritual and emotional peace! Now, I want to be clear, this doesn’t mean that those of us who have faith in a Higher power—and gratitude at the center of our life—do not have times when we are feeling down. Of course we do, we're human. However; our faith and willingness to remain grateful for the good things in our life makes us resilient. It gives us—an X factor, if you will—that, when they get down, gives us the ability to regain our perspective and return to a positive mindset. Friends, I can’t overstate the importance of maintaining a posture of gratitude in our lives! The Bible tells us:

“Rejoice always and delight in your faith;

be unceasing and persistent in prayer;

In every situation [no matter what the circumstances]

be thankful and continually give thanks to God;

for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

Having the ability to be grateful for each day of life gives us the energy and the courage, even in trying times, to love the life we have—right here, right now! My hope and prayer for you is that you have an abundance of joy, peace and gratitude in your life, so that you, too, are be able to say: “I’m Thankful for today because I have weathered many storms and, yet, I stll have the courage to Blossom and Smile with each new day.”


Rev. René

"Loving life and wishing you the best of everything!"

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