GRATITUDE—how to do it

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Gratitude is a buzzword in all sorts of circles.

It is spoken of in corporate circles, and on talk shows. You are encouraged to journal about gratitude and the things you are thankful for. Gratitude has become a watchword for positive organizational behaviour or positive thinking or as a significant support for depression.

A few years ago there was a popular talk show host who promoted the Gratitude journal—gratitude to whom?

However, the Bible speaks of true gratitude as having its origin only in God.

  • As we give thanks to the Lord, we are acknowledging that all things are from him and to him and through him.
  • As we give thanks to the Lord, we are acknowledging his sovereign reign over us.
  • As we give thanks to the Lord, we are declaring his purposes for us will stand and our trust in him will stand.

O give thanks to the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endures forever. – Psalm 136:1
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end: they are new every morning: great is your faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:22-23

Conversely, the Bible only speaks of lack of gratitude in relation to the person who does not know God. In 2 Timothy 3: 2 we read of the ungodly, “For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy”.

Even in our prayers, thanksgivings should be made for all people (1 Timothy 1:2).

Gratitude is linked to knowing Jesus, according to Colossians 2:7, “having been firmly rooted and now built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude”.

You may find all sorts of reasons for gratitude in human endeavour and between humans, but give me Jesus and his favour and my reasons for gratitude as being in him any day! This is lasting and eternal gratitude from and in my soul.

Regardless of my changing circumstances, he remains the same.
He remains the reason for my gratitude.

  • I recently received a series of unpleasant reports, and I pondered how I was going to respond, as my response was the only thing I could control after all.
  • I realized my attitude would have to change, as gratitude is often my last response while complaining or discontent is my first one.
  • If I truly believe that God works all things for my good (Romans 8:28), then I must receive with gratitude that which comes into my life that does not seem good and for which I don’t feel grateful at the time!

Oh, what a paradox is the way of Christ.

Anti my narcissistic tendencies, against my selfish desires, yet all the time working for my good are the ways of Christ in my life. How I thank him that he knows best, that he holds all things together by the word of his power, that when I don’t see it, I can sing “It is well with my soul”.

I would love to read your comments on how you find gratitude to God in trying circumstances.

Alison Ward

Alison is married to Steve; they have two married daughters, and five grandchildren, and live in Gauteng, South Africa. She has pastored with her husband for thirty-three years, has a nursing background, and recently completed a master’s degree in leadership and coaching. Alison is passionate about teaching the Bible and partnering with women to fulfill their gifts and potential.

   

2017-02-16T00:44:42+00:00 September 23rd, 2016|Categories: Gratitude|Tags: , |0 Comments

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