At Thanksgiving time, gratitude is often expressed in terms of counting our blessings.
It’s a popular tradition to go around the table, encouraging everyone to name something for which they’re especially grateful. However, the focus is on the blessings themselves – not the God who gives the blessings.
Our ability to give thanks shouldn’t matter how many blessings we have to count at a certain time.
Because we can always give thanks and we always have the ultimate blessing: a relationship with a good Father.
How often do you think about what you’re grateful for?
It is easy to fall into the trap of being ungrateful.
Our eternal vision becomes cloudy and distorted.
Our soul becomes starved for the truth of God’s written word.
Eventually, we become downcast within our own hearts.
Cultivating a grateful heart requires self discipline, prayer, and patience.
We need to constantly and consistently plant, water, and harvest an attitude of gratitude.
“Gratitude gets at the very essence of what it means to be created, finite, fallen, redeemed, and sustained by the God of all grace.” Ann Voskamp
What is Gratitude?
Gratitude is learning to recognize and express appreciation for the benefits we have received from God and from others.
This means constantly being on the lookout for blessings, making each day a treasure hunt.
It means being intentional about thanking God and others for the blessings that come our way.
So how do we cultivate an attitude of gratitude that reaches to our very soul, clears our eternal vision, and gives us a peace that transcends all understanding?
- Make a gratitude list. Write down everything that you’re thankful for and appreciate it. Keep the list going, handy, and visible at all times. GIVE THANKS TO GOD!
- Sing praise and worship songs. It is hard to be sad or depressed when singing an uplifting song to our heavenly Creator.
- Pray and ask for your eyes to be opened. Ask God to give you eyes that see all that He has provided.
- Read your Bible. Allow your heart to be transformed by the miracles, blessings, and promises within it.
- Cultivate a relationship with Jesus Christ. Only God can provide our satisfaction, and through Jesus alone it is possible that we have communion with God. Jesus is our atonenment and mediator. By cultivating a relationship with him, we are able to build contentment in our hearts. Psalm 16:11
All of these open our hearts to the well of blessing that spring forth eternal satisfaction. By tasting and seeing of God’s goodness we will be able to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
“May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanksto the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” —Colossians 1:11–12
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