AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE

give thanks

…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

It’s easy to be grateful when life flows along like we think it should – when the sky is blue, the sun shines brightly, pleasant breezes blow, and a surplus builds in our bank accounts.  But what about those times when health wanes and money is scarce?  Even during such times of need a spirit of thankfulness is important because it reminds us of the trustworthy character of God.

The psalmist wrote, Many … are Your wonderful works … and Your thoughts which are toward us … they are more than can be numbered (Psalm 40:5).  In response, we are challenged: In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God … for you (1Thessalonians 5:18, bold added).  The simple power of a grateful heart is impossible to exaggerate.

An attitude of gratitude encourages a feeling of well-being.  Occasionally, I write down the things for which I’m thankful.  For example:

  • Faith in a caring heavenly Father
  • The comfort and direction I receive from reading the Bible
  • The love of family and friends
  • Health that is reasonably good
  • The challenge and enjoyment of work
  • The privilege of contributing to the lives of others
  • The ability to meet my financial obligations
  • A good night’s sleep
  • Waking up to the smell of coffee and burnt toast (I like burnt toast)
  • More than my daily bread to eat
  • The privilege of taking our thirteen grandchildren out to breakfast one at a time, and learning their likes and dislikes
  • Fellowship and inspiration with the people of our local church
  • Finding a parking place, especially when I’m late
  • Laughing enthusiastically until it hurts
  • An occasional afternoon nap – “nature’s sweet restorative”
  • Pruning roses in our garden or picking berries
  • Reading a good book
  • Listening to old songs … and remembering when …
  • Watching the sun rise and then set at the close of day
  • The sound of rain beating on the window pane
  • Chatting with neighbors about small things

Especially, I’m thankful for the privilege and pleasure of prayer.  That, in all the experiences of life, I’m invited to, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let [my] requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6).

Above and beyond everything else, I would join with Paul the apostle in saying, Thanks be to God – for what? – for His indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15).

The worst moment for an unbeliever must be when he’s really thankful and has no one to personally thank.  But for believers, an attitude of gratitude is a solid foundation on which to build our lives.

From Too Soon To Quit: Fifty Ways to Experience the Best that Life Has to Offer, reprinted with permission of Dr. George Sweeting

This devotion originally appeared in Real Victory for Real Life, Volume 1, available through America’s Keswick or on Amazon.com

 

(1 Thessalonians 5:18)

 

It’s easy to be grateful when life flows along like we think it should – when the sky is blue, the sun shines brightly, pleasant breezes blow, and a surplus builds in our bank accounts.  But what about those times when health wanes and money is scarce?  Even during such times of need a spirit of thankfulness is important because it reminds us of the trustworthy character of God.

The psalmist wrote, “Many … are Your wonderful works … and Your thoughts which are toward us … they are more than can be numbered” (Psalm 40:5).  In response, we are challenged: “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God … for you” (1Thessalonians 5:18, italics added).  The simple power of a grateful heart is impossible to exaggerate.

An attitude of gratitude encourages a feeling of well-being.  Occasionally, I write down the things for which I’m thankful.  For example:

 

  • Faith in a caring heavenly Father
  • The comfort and direction I receive from reading the Bible
  • The love of family and friends
  • Health that is reasonably good
  • The challenge and enjoyment of work
  • The privilege of contributing to the lives of others
  • The ability to meet my financial obligations
  • A good night’s sleep
  • Waking up to the smell of coffee and burnt toast (I like burnt toast)
  • More than my daily bread to eat
  • The privilege of taking our thirteen grandchildren out to breakfast one at a time, and learning their likes and dislikes
  • Fellowship and inspiration with the people of our local church
  • Finding a parking place, especially when I’m late
  • Laughing enthusiastically until it hurts
  • An occasional afternoon nap – “nature’s sweet restorative”
  • Pruning roses in our garden or picking berries
  • Reading a good book
  • Listening to old songs … and remembering when …
  • Watching the sun rise and then set at the close of day
  • The sound of rain beating on the window pane
  • Chatting with neighbors about small things

 

Especially, I’m thankful for the privilege and pleasure of prayer.  That, in all the experiences of life, I’m invited to, “by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let [my] requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).

Above and beyond everything else, I would join with Paul the apostle in saying, “Thanks be to God” – for what? – “for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).

The worst moment for an unbeliever must be when he’s really thankful and has no one to personally thank.  But for believers, an attitude of gratitude is a solid foundation on which to build our lives.

 

From Too Soon To Quit: Fifty Ways to Experience the Best that Life Has to Offer, reprinted with permission of Dr. George Sweeting

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