I was in the hospital for depression. I felt like I lost all hope in getting better. I cried out to God for help. In response, He prompted me to begin giving thanks for the blessings He had for me. I thanked God for the counselor who listened to me pour out my sorrow. I thanked God for the doctor who was giving me medication to help the depression. I thanked God for the nurses who were taking care of me. I thanked God for the people who were leading the groups as they taught me ways of dealing with the depression. As I took on an attitude of gratitude, my spirits were lifted. I praised God for providing the needed prescription for me at that time.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV).
WHAT’S IN A WORD?
Gratitude is “a feeling of thankful appreciation for favors or benefits received” (Webster’s New World College Dictionary). It is “the state of being grateful; thankfulness” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary). “Thanksgiving is the expression of joy God-ward, and is therefore the fruit of the Spirit…believers are encouraged to abound in it” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words).
In the world, there are many stressors that overwhelm us if we allow them to. Our feelings can run rampant. However, taking on an attitude of gratitude can change these feelings. We can praise God for the many blessings in our life. This will lead to peace and joy.
“Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever” (Psalm 106:1, NIV).
Read Psalm 106:1. Who are we to praise?
What are we to give to the Lord?
How long does God’s love endure?
We can give thanks and praise to God. His love does indeed endure forever. He is a good God who desires to bless His children. Feelings of fear and anxiety can overwhelm us. However, when we come to God, He will replace those feelings with peace and rest.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV).
Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. What are we to always do?
What are we to continually do?
What are we to do in all circumstances?
What are these commands for us?
The commands in these verses are definite feeling busters. When we rejoice and give thanks unto the Lord, we will be changed from the inside out. The stressors of the world will no longer have a grasp on us. We can then praise God for changing us.
“Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:19-20, NIV).
Read Ephesians 5:19-20. How are we to speak to one another?
Where do the songs come from?
What are we to do from our heart?
How much are we to give thanks to God?
We are to always give thanks to God. We can sing songs from the Spirit to praise His holy name. When we praise and give thanks, we will draw closer to God.
YOUR HEART’S DESIRE
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe” (Hebrews 12:28, NIV). When we are thankful, we rightly give praise to God. We approach Him in reverence and awe. When we do so, God will reward us.
Name a time when you were overwhelmed by the cares of the world.
How did you feel?
How did you turn to God for help?
How did gratitude play a factor in bringing you peace?
Gratitude brings us peace. We can praise God for all of the things He has done in our lives. We can thank God for the many blessings in our lives.
Dear Heavenly Father, I worship and adore You. Thank You for the many blessings in my life. Help me to always come to You with an attitude of gratitude. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
NUGGETS OF WISDOM
This day and your life are God’s gift to you: so give thanks and be joyful always! Jim Beggs
Gratitude is heaven itself. William Blake
A single grateful thought raised to heaven is the most perfect prayer. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
Our favorite attitude should be gratitude. Author unknown
He who can give thanks for little will always find he has enough. Author unknown