Please and Thank You!

Gratitude changes everything

“A thankful heart is one of the primary identifying characteristics of a believer. It stands in stark contrast to pride, selfishness, and worry. And it helps fortify the believer’s trust in the Lord and reliance of His provision, even in the toughest times. No matter how choppy the seas become, a believer’s heart is buoyed by constant praise and gratefulness to the Lord.”  – John MacArthur

I remember, as I’m sure we all do, that when I was a kid my parents would teach me “the magic words.” Having good manners was a trait that I possessed, and – shout out to my parents who I know are reading this – my mother and father wanted it to become an ineradicable one. I remember when a “grown up” would ask me if I needed help with something. I would turn to them and say “Yes, Please!” and then when they were done, my mother would recite: “What do you say, Erin?”

“Thank you.”

A spirit of thankfulness is something we should harbor in our relationship with the Lord but, unfortunately, I feel like society can often have an ethos of entitlement instead. It’s not just a generational thing either; I think that there are believers of every age who are very eager to give prayer requests to God, but many forget to thank Him for the answers. We remember the “Please” but we forget the “Thank You!”

I’m not writing this with a judgmental spirit. I’m writing to myself as well. Some believers are really good at remaining thankful, while others are forgetful in that respect. People are more likely to focus on the bad parts of their day than the good ones, so how often do we consider the blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon us? When we sing songs of praise, do we really reflect? Here’s a real toughie – are we thankful even in times of trouble and trial?

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. – 1 Chronicles 16:34

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful… And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – Colossians 3:15,17

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Philippians 4:6

I’m sure you know by now that the moral of this Victory Call is to remain thankful, but I want to encourage you not to leave with just head knowledge but no application of the biblical verses shared in this devotional. Here’s a challenge: what are some practical steps you can take today to remember to remain thankful? I want to start keeping a daily “Thanksgiving Journal” … what about you?

Erin Culleny serves as a Marketing Assistant and Staff Writer. She loves encouraging women through her Victory Calls and finds such joy in praying for her sisters in Christ. Her favorite activities include reading her Bible, encouraging others with scripture, buying new makeup, buying dresses, and eating at the Cheesecake Factory… In that order!

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