Have you found yourself showing signs of anxiety, grumpiness or stress? One of the best ways to counter those is to grow in gratefulness. Growing grateful will cause peace, contentment and joy to bloom in your life.
Gratitude begins to grow when you realize that God is the source of all good things—all blessings. Yes, he can use people and circumstances to bring blessings into our lives, but he is the source behind it all. He is the One you must thank. While making lists of things for which you are grateful can serve as a reminder, be careful not to let your heart shift to “I have” instead of “God has done, or God is.” Scripture shows that we are to praise and give thanks to God for who he is and all he has done (Psalm 103:3-4).
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). God makes it clear that we are to be grateful. It is a command. Further, it is a lifestyle we are to develop. It will take discipline to allow God to grow gratitude in our lives until it becomes a beautiful habit. Expressing gratitude to the Lord can be done through the words of our prayers and our spoken words. Saying thank you to God—out loud—will help shape our attitudes and often the attitudes of those around us.
As you seek to grow more grateful, remember that gratitude is a choice: “Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Choosing to be grateful is easy when things are going well. Equally as important is continuing to have a grateful heart during difficult times or times of suffering. Sometimes being grateful is a sacrifice (Psalm 50:23) and being grateful does not mean that your difficulties will disappear. Yet it gives you an adjusted perspective, enables you to walk with strength through the challenging seasons, and allows you to glorify the Lord.
Choosing to be grateful becomes easier when you remember who God is and how he loves you. He is all-powerful (Ephesians 3:20), wise (James 1:5), holy, (Psalm 29:2), merciful (Psalm 145:9), full of strength (Ephesians 6:30), the One who makes your steps secure (Psalm 18:32-33) and peace (Colossians 3:15). The Word also says that God’s love for you is extravagant (Psalm 108:4, Psalm 86:15). As Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:17-19, I pray that you will truly grasp HOW wide, HOW long, and HOW high and deep is the love of Christ. Oh, sweet sister, get in his Word! So rich are the truths of God that David said you should taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8). May God’s Word help you discover, and lead others to discover, that in his presence is where you find fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11).
When your gratitude is in full bloom, it will spread to others (Colossians 2:6-7). By your example of obedience to grow in gratitude, you can pass on gratefulness to those in your circle of influence and to generations that come behind you (Psalm 79:13). Your gratefulness will shine the light on Jesus, and “many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord” (Psalm 40:3).
So, today, will you choose to grow grateful? “I will praise the Lord at all times. His praise will always be on my lips” (Psalm 34:1).