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Gratitude

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“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (I Thessalonians 5:16-18, New English Translation).

True happiness seems elusive to many people. Part of this may result from their viewpoint on life. If we judge our happiness by what we own or our position in life, we will be disappointed. No matter what we have, it will never be enough. No matter who we know or how high our social status, that indefinable “something” will always be just out of reach. So how do we have a rich, fulfilling life? One step toward happiness is living a life of gratitude.

Can it be as simple as feeling thankful for the things we have in life? It’s certainly an important element. Developing an attitude of gratitude has many positive effects on us—physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

  • Relieves Stress.

Modern life is stressful. There always seems to be too little time with too many expectations upon us. Studies show that gratitude counters these negatives we face. If we take time at the beginning of each day to thank God for the peace He offers, our stress levels go down.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, New Living Translation).

  • Changes Our Focus.

When we are thankful, our focus shifts. We are no longer consumed with our desires and our circumstances. We open ourselves up to others and feel empathy. Most of all, we open our eyes to God’s blessings our lives. Every good thing comes from Him.

“Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow” (James 1:17, NLT).

  • Partners with Humility.

Gratitude and humility go hand in hand. Each enhances the other. Humility reminds us we are not operating within our own strength. Whatever we accomplish in life is due to God’s help and the help of others. Gratitude allows us to acknowledge this.

The Bible warns that in the last days many will be proud and unthankful. Second Timothy 3:2 says, For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy” (English Standard Version). As a child of God, we demonstrate to an ungrateful world a better way to live. When we live a life of gratitude, we “spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume” (II Corinthians 2:14).

Suggestion for Today:

  • Begin the day by thanking God for His blessings.
  • Write a note to a loved one expressing thanks for being a part of your life.
  • Think about someone who has helped you in a special way and thank them for their time.
  • Send a note of appreciation to your pastor or pastor’s wife.
  • Verbally thank those who help you in any way throughout the day.
  • At the end of your day make a list of good things that happened today.

 

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus”

1 Thessalonians 5:18

My word for this year has been “grateful” I decided that I needed to change my perspective on a lot of things, and the way to do that was to show gratitude for everything I do have.

It’s easy to complain about what we DON’T have – a new car, better paying job, a bigger home.. but it’s harder to do that when you are instead thankful for what you DO have.

My car gets me from point A to B. Are my kids constantly kicking the back of the seats and are my knees are touching the dash? Yes, but it gets us where we need to be.

Do I wish we were more financially secure? Absolutely, but our bills are paid, we have plenty of food to eat and we are clothed.

Are we at maximum capacity in this bungalow? We sure are, but it’s home. We have heat, and a dishwasher (an absolute necessity in my eyes) and beds to sleep in.

It’s all about contentment.

We as women can be consumed by the mundane, and it does sometimes feel like a burden and like we may be missing out. But take a look around you right now, what do you have that you are thankful for? What is around you that you prayed for, and God miraculously provided?

Let’s change our outlook on life today ladies, and thank and praise God for what He has provided and everything we are so blessed with!

Lord, help me to have a thank you on my lips every single day, and to not take anything I have in this life for granted.

“Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you” (I Peter 5:5-6, English Standard Version).

Why does the Bible stress humility so much? Is this characteristic really so important in our lives? Or is it just an old-fashioned concept that doesn’t fit with our modern way of looking out for Number One? By examining various scriptures, we learn humility is not only essential but also enriches our lives. Blessings come from having a humble spirit.

  • We need humility to come to God.

Humility lowers itself while pride is arrogant and seeks to exalt itself. When we seek forgiveness for our sins, we come to God with a spirit of humility and submission. It opens the door to repentance, an essential part of the process. James 4:10 tells us, Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”

  • The humble have a teachable spirit.

Think of a school room. Before the student can learn, he must be willing to listen to the instructor. With humility we open ourselves to the wisdom of others, including the things God desires to teach us. “He leads the humble in what is right and teaches them his way” (Psalm 25:9, CSB).

  • Gratitude grows from a humble heart.

Pride robs us of gratitude. It’s so easy to take credit for all the good things that come our way. We lose sight of what others and God have done for us.  Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (Psalm 103:2).

  • Humility recognizes our need of God’s help.

We can do life on our own, but why would we want to? God is willing and able to provide all we need. We can tap into His strength and power. “I can pray this because his divine power has bestowed on us everything necessary for life and godliness through the rich knowledge of the one who called us by his own glory and excellence” (II Peter 1:3, New English Translation).

So many people have the wrong idea about humility. It isn’t low self-esteem or feeling worthless. Nor is it making yourself a doormat and inviting everyone to walk over you. It does not mean you must discredit the gifts and abilities God has put within you. As Rick Warren once said, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.

Humility is foundational to living the best life. It is also essential to successful relationships—with each other and with God. The humble person is a blessed person.

Prayer: Lord, You have blessed me with so much. I know it isn’t because of anything I have done but because of Your goodness and mercy. I pray my heart will always be open to Your will. Give me a heart that is open to Your Word and the things You want to teach me. My dependency is on You.