Andrea Olson is a worship leader, recording artist, coach and founder of Overflow Worship, a ministry for Worship Leaders and entire teams. Andrea (with family in tow) travels the Midwest leading worship, training teams and equipping church leaders with practical tools to thrive in ministry. Andrea continues to release new songs for the church to sing and new resources on overflowresource.com, which she started in 2020, to help churches train their leaders and worship teams.
This blog in the Gratitude Series was written from the heart of worship leader and Overflow Resource founder, Andrea Olson.
Gratitude is at the heart of Overflow Resource. Join us as we walk through life marked with gratitude for our Savior. Whether you are a worship leaders, worship team member, ministry volunteer, or simply love the Church, welcome! We’re glad you’re here.
Questions? Interested in booking Andrea for a team workshop? EMAIL US HERE
This blog is all about my journey of focusing on gratitude and living in a posture of thankfulness. Disclaimer: this doesn’t mean that everything is always perfect, or exactly the way we think it should be. But it does mean that we can choose to be grateful and live a joy filled life.
This new year, I’m really excited, and I know a lot of people have been like “Yes! 2020 is over, we made it! Welcome to 2021.” And you know what, I understand that completely. I know that we are not out of the fire and hard times yet, but we can walk into 2021 with a shifted perspective.
We talked a few blogs ago about what we can take with us from the past. We talked about leaving things that we don’t need to carry and keeping the things we’ve learned with us. What are the things we should leave behind? Negative attitudes and negative perspective. We can learn from these experiences, but we aren’t meant to carry them with us. Ask yourself, what does God want me to learn from this? And what does God want me to leave? And those are things that only you can know, and they are between you and the Lord.
I was just going back through my journal from 2020 and reading all my prayer requests, my faith goals and documents of God’s faithfulness. And there are prayers still left unanswered. Prayers that I prayed very specifically and felt like this is what God has put on my heart and what I’m believing for. And some of them were answered in different ways than expected or I’m still waiting. But looking back I see God’s clear faithfulness. So, I want to look at 2020 as a marker in my history and a marker of faith, that God saw us through and kept every single promise. He took care of us in every single possible way. I want that to propel me into the future with faith and courage and confidence in what God is going to do.
I feel like the enemy wants us to be distracted. He doesn’t want us to focus on the good things God did in 2020 even through the hard.
But we serve a God who is our healer, who is our protector and our defender. All these things are written in the Bible and we sing about them. But do we really believe what we are singing? Do we know and hear ourselves saying these promises?
Sometimes I don’t think we do. I think it becomes redundant, monotonous, or routine. But man, we sang the song, “I’m gonna see a Victory” at Church this morning. “I’m gonna see a Victory, for the battle belongs to you Lord.” We are going to see the victories. And maybe you’ve seen victories in 2020 and you will see more in the future because God continues to show Himself faithful. And I just want to encourage you with that today. When you focus on gratitude, things change, our perspective shifts. Along with that, I want to add that this doesn’t mean you are constantly frolicking through a field saying, “everything is wonderful.” That’s not what I’m saying, because that’s not reality. But what I am saying, we do not have to be grateful for our circumstances, but we can be grateful in them. It’s totally different.
So, I might not be grateful for illness or hardship, but I can be grateful in it. I am not saying I’m never sad or in the pit of despair, because I would be lying. I am a very real human being with lots of struggles and emotions, but this has been transformational for my life and for my family. And I hope it’s encouraging to you. I hope it encourages you to be grateful and live your life in a posture of gratitude.
As we start 2021 just look back on the last year, document the things God did. And then moving forward, document throughout the year, maybe every week, every day, whatever works for you. But document those things, the miracles, moments of faithfulness, things you are grateful for. Because when we remind ourselves of those things our perspective shifts a little bit. Remember that our God is the one who is the same yesterday, today and forever. If He was faithful in 2020, he’s faithful today. And he’s going to continue to be.
I’m so excited for all that’s ahead. I’m excited for what God is going to do in your lives, my life, my family’s life. I’ve been dwelling a lot on Psalm 138. And verse 8 in the Passion Translation says,
“You keep every promise you’ve ever made to me, since Your love for me is constant and endless, I ask you Lord to finish every good thing that you have begun in me.”
Let’s let that be our first marker of gratitude.
Let that verse, Psalm 138:8 be our first gratitude documentation. That He keeps every promise he’s ever made to us, his love for us is constant and endless and we can ask him to finish every good thing he’s begun because he’s beginning good things in us. I’m a little scared also because there’s a lot and they are big. But I’m so excited for the things he is putting in my heart. And he’s beginning good things in your heart too. And you can be excited for those things because he begins those things and will bring them to completion. And another verse that’s been on my heart for all of us is in Deuteronomy and it was the verse of the day in the bible app, YouVersion. In Deuteronomy when it talks about “do not be afraid, do not be terrified because of them, because the Lord you God is with you.” There is a similar verse in Joshua 1:9. We don’t have to be afraid, moving forward. Because God is with us and He will finish every good thing that he has started and will keep every promise that he’s ever made. We don’t have to be afraid walking into 2021. I know things aren’t done, things are in limbo and sometimes we don’t know what to make of it. Some times are better than others but we don’t have to walk into 2021 with fear. Because the Lord our God is with us wherever we go. Do not be afraid or terrified because of what’s going on, because God is with us.
We may not be grateful for every situation, but we can be grateful in every situation.