The Joy of Gratitude
We are meant for gratitude. We are not meant for the bickering and grumbling that are so common in this world. We are meant for constant gratitude and thanksgiving.
Consider three blessings that come from Christian gratitude.
Gratitude Honors God
We have a lavishly loving Father. He showers grace upon us, even to the point of the Son’s life given for us. Our soul’s every need is provided for. We are eternally loved. We are forever rich in Christ. At the very least, God deserves to be thanked. At the very least, God deserves us taking notice of our blessings.
Do you want to honor God? Take the time to simply take note of your blessings in Christ. And do so often.
Gratitude Blesses Us
Gratitude is a command (e.g. 1 Thes 5:18). But God is so gracious that when we do the things we ought to do, he blesses us even more.
Take a moment right now to give thanks. Give thanks for eternal things first. Give thanks for God placing his love on you from eternity past. Give thanks for being a part of God’s perfect plans. Give thanks for Jesus Christ, the perfect lamb, slain for you. Give thanks for a resurrected Savior. Give thanks for an ascended Savior. Give thanks for the down payment of the Holy Spirit. Give thanks for being called as a child of God and as an ambassador to this fallen world. Give thanks for eternity that lies ahead. Give thanks for a returning Savior, ready and able to judge and restore the world. Got more you want to give thanks for? Go ahead, take all the time you need.
Doesn’t it lift your soul? Gratitude sparks joy. Gratitude kindles strength and motivation. As I give thanks, God causes my soul to flourish. And then I have one more reason to be grateful.
Giving thanks for our blessings multiplies our blessings and we end up even more blessed.
Gratitude Leads to Peace
So many of us struggle with anxiety, especially in these times. God prescribes gratitude as the medicine our souls need in anxious times.
"...do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6–7, ESV)
When you are worried and fearful, you need gratitude. Not as a scolding that says, “I can’t believe you’re not more thankful!” No, but gratitude as a recognition that you have been abundantly loved and provided for.
As you struggle with feeling alone in the face of your fears, gratitude reminds you that you never have been nor never will be alone. As you worry about tomorrow and whether you have enough resources to face it all, gratitude reminds you that you have been eternally provided for by a loving Father, a dying Savior and an outpoured Spirit.
What is the outcome of spending time with your blessings in Christ? God will give you peace. Sometimes the fears are great and the battle is long, but the peace is always there to be found.
The Joy of Gratitude
Do you want to honor your God? Then give thanks. Do you want to be blessed? Then give thanks. Do you want to find peace? Then give thanks.
This is the joy of gratitude.
This article was originally published at https://www.dayspringreno.com/blog/the-joy-of-gratitude on February 2, 2021
Jason Ching (MA, Westminster Seminary California) is a pastor at Dayspring Church in Reno, NV. He is husband to Naomi and father of three.
Note: The views expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of other contributors on this site.