Gratitude is formed once you realize what you have been given, who you are and from whom all blessings flow.
Realizing the extent of what you’ve been given may take some time. It did for me. I was 32 years old before I realized I had been given a second chance at life. Here’s a quick list of some things we’ve been given:
- Access to doctors and medicine
- Talents and abilities
- God’s Word
Recognizing who you are may take even longer, as in my case. Even after I found Christ and committed my life to His Lordship, it still took me time to understand exactly who I was in Christ. To be truthful, I haven’t fully comprehended it all yet. God keeps drawing me deeper still into His magnificent love that transforms me further.
The reason we have trouble finding who we are is do to our sin nature. We all fall short of God’s glory ( Romans 3:23 NKJV ). No, not one is good ( Psalm 14:3 NKJV ). We all have gone astray ( Isaiah 53:6 NKJV ). We all are sinners and separated from God.
Learning God is the source of everything might take some getting used to; especially when you are used to running your own life by your own sufficiency. I used to think if I got a raise at work it was of my own hard work and therefore, it was my “just” reward. However, now I realize God gave me the talent and ability to certain things well and He also gave me the ability to create wealth ( Deuteronomy 8:18 NKJV ) .
Gratitude is “grown” by exercising our mind’s recollection of every good, pure, true, noble, just, praiseworthy, and honorable thing (Philippians 4:7-9 NKJV). When we keep our thoughts on these things we will surely never cease to praise God Almighty.
If you have a hard time being grateful, perhaps you have stewed in your own pot of “unmet expectations” for too long. When you compare your life to your expectations of life and come of short, guess what? You’ll always feel disappointed, let down, and discouraged. I know from my own experience. Take my advice, lose the expectations they are nothing but heartache! Believe me Jesus Christ’s power is the only thing which can end the cycle of an unhealthy thought life.
How do we cultivate gratitude?
- If you haven’t already done so, give your life to Christ. Say a simple prayer like: Jesus I know I’m a sinner and you died for me. Come into my life and make me whole again. Amen. Making Jesus the CEO and Boss of your life is the first step to success.
- Make a list of things to be thankful for. Start with the basics. Thank God for your life, your senses (sight, sound, feel, taste, smell), your health, your family, your house, your clothes, your food, your work, your car, etc. I like to thank God for His Word and the ability to read it! You get the idea.
- Keep a journal of answered prayers. Whenever you need a dose of gratefulness consult your journal to remember times when God answered your prayer and rejoice.
- Look around you. There are less fortunate people all around. Jesus said we would always have the poor among us ( John 12:8 NKJV ). There are starving people in this world, so be thankful at your next meal, even if it’s leftovers you had last night.
Did you know that if you own a car you are among the world’s top 8% of the population? Be thankful. Think about this: we are not threatened or tortured or killed when we share our faith, as some people are in this world. Be incredibly grateful.Gratitude is important to keep us grounded with a correct estimation of ourselves and an accurate assumption of the source of all blessings.
How’s your gratitude level today? Need a boost in gratefulness?
Follow the suggestions in this article and pray God helps you be grateful. Believe God has already answered your prayer and gratitude will flow freely.
Lord, thank you for all that you have done for us. Thank you for all we have this day. Help us to be grateful for everything. May we be mindful of others less fortunate than us and where we have the ability to do something about it, may we reach forth our hands to help. In Jesus’ name Amen.