by Dorette Saunders
Gratitude. Quite often we skip over it because we believe that others instinctively know that we are grateful for their efforts when they reach out to us. Our complacency in this regard may even stem from how we treat the blessings that God so graciously and generously gives us.
Watch out! Greed is often present when gratitude is absent. We want more…and more…and more. We often think we are successful in our own strength. Don’t be surprised, then, if narcissism lurks around the corner when we refuse to identify, and thank, God as the giver of the gifts we receive. The Scriptures tell us plainly:
“Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father who created all the lights in the heavens. He is always the same and never makes dark shadows by changing” (James 1:17, CEV).
It is God who makes us successful. Every gift from God is wrapped in grace. We don’t deserve his blessings. We can never earn them, but because he loves us so much, he loads us with them daily.
David, the psalmist, makes music to God ears as he proclaims:
“Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good;
his love is eternal!”
Repeat these words in praise to the Lord,
all you whom he has saved.
(Psalm 107:1, 2, NIV)
Will you repeat those words? Have you been saved? If you have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, then you are saved — because Jesus died on the cross for your sins.
Our salvation does not grant us immunity from the troubles of the world, but we are guaranteed that our Savior will be with us every step of the way. The apostle Paul encourages us with this reminder:
“…never stop praying. Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do” (1 Thessalonians 5:17, 18, CEV).
Our circumstances do not limit our ability to be thankful. While we may weep over those things that trouble us, we can still look at ALL the things that God has done in our lives and offer a prayer of thanksgiving. Furthermore, we are told that this is what God wants us to do.
Take some time to reach out in gratitude to those who have blessed your life. Try to remember the simple things at first. Think how these acts of kindness, words of affirmation or even discipline, have moved your life in the right direction. Then thank God for his glorious presence in your life and the lives of those around you.
PRAYER: God, there is none like you. Your big, giving heart made such a difference in my life. Thank you for giving me Jesus as my Savior. Thank you for giving me Jesus as my Lord who tenderly leads me. Remind me to be grateful at all times, for all things, great and small. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.