Have a thankful heart is even more than a simple thank you, it is about motive and attitude. How do you approach God in prayer? Have you ever thought about it much? Is it a ramble of thank you for this day and this meal and now I'm done because I'm ready to eat? Or Lord help me get a parking spot because I have a long list of groceries to buy? Now blessing food is good and I pray for parking spots too, but where is your heart when you pray? Is it on God? Or is it on whatever is coming up next in the long, busy list of the day?
Have a thankful heart means being grateful even when you don't get that parking spot because you are able to go to the store and buy food. It is going to God, focusing on Him and thanking Him for life, no matter what is going on. Even turning the trials of this life, those who harbor a thankful heart will find joy and peace, not in the world, but in God Himself and His Almighty glory.
I realized that sounds "churchy," but it is true. When you can focus on God and not on your problems, the problems don't seem so big anymore because you can begin to see the plan and purpose through God's eyes, through His unlimited perspective. God makes everything for good, even darkness can be turned to light. Even the hardest, most confusing situations can transform your life for the better if you trust God and see it through.
Having a thankful heart is more than just saying thank you, it is relying fully on God, trust Him that He has this evil mess of a world under control and we always have hope and salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.