Gratefulness

I recently read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It truly opened my heart to the great value of gratefulness and the disservice we do to ourselves and those around us when we move through the world operating with ungrateful hearts. Worry builds, self-focus controls our thoughts, and we lose sight of the wonderful things God does for us when we take things for granted.

We are reminded over and over in scripture to be thankful. Do we heed those instructions, or do we selfishly walk through life feeling like things are owed to us rather than being grateful for all we have?

They sang, praising and giving thanks to the Lord, saying, “For He is good, for His lovingkindness is upon Israel forever.” Ezra 3:11  

Do we thank God simply because He is good to us? Or do we take it for granted?

The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him. Psalm 28:7

Do we thank Him when He helps us and strengthens us? Or do we take it for granted?

I will give You thanks in the great congregation; I will praise You among a mighty throng. Psalm 35:18

Do we join together in worship and thank Him corporately? Or does that seem unimportant to us in this modern age?

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14

Do we thank Him for making us the way we are, and who we are, and where we are and when we were born? Or do we ungratefully complain about parts of how He made us?

Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. Psalm 110:4

We are told the proper way to enter the King’s court; do we adhere to protocol? Would we if He were an earthly King? You bet. So let us honor Him even more so by entering into His presence with thankfulness on our hearts and tongues.

So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. John11:41

Do we thank Him for answered prayer, or do we chalk it up to “good luck” when something happens that we prayed about? 

And He directed the people to sit down on the ground; and taking the seven loaves, He gave thanks and broke them, and started giving them to His disciples to serve to them, and they served them to the people. Mark 8:6

Do we even bother to be grateful for our food and take a moment to thank Him before we eat? Or do we ungratefully rush on through with our meal without a thankful thought at all?

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57

Do we thank Him and give Him credit for all our victories?

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15

Do we at least thank God for His best gift of all – giving His son Jesus to die for our sins?

In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Everything? Really?! The hard? The sad? The mean things people have done to us? In everything God calls us to a spirit of gratefulness. Why? Because it is good for our hearts. To be grateful, you must acknowledge the Someone to whom you are grateful. Gratefulness keeps us humbled before God and focused on Him in all things. This thankful attitude is the solution to fear, selfishness, worry, and most every negative emotion we embrace, because an appropriate view of God from a thankful heart keeps us ever aware of His place of omnipotence as creator, provider, and ruler over us. It has been said that Gratefulness is to worry as antibiotics are to an infection. So today as you battle negative emotions and situations, bow a head and offer a prayer of thankfulness to find a proper perspective for life and healing for your heart.

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