Quick: can you name 5 things you’re thankful/grateful for?
Chances are – we’re more easily prepared to name 5 things we’re longing / wishing for.
Why is that?
In the Scriptures, there is this theme of GRATITUDE that is all over the place. One might say that as followers of God we’re to have an attitude of gratitude.
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
Gratitude is something God desires for us and an attitude of gratitude is good for us. That doesn’t mean you never have a bad day or rough moments. But maybe it does mean that we’re more anchored to Christ’s presence and promises over our circumstances and situations. Gratitude can grow and take root within the soul given to adopting that mindset. More Gratitude isn’t generated from more acquisitions; but rather more from the awareness of God’s presence and goodness. Gratitude is a byproduct of a way of seeing things or a God saturated worldview.
Because God is a giver at his very core. He is not distant nor distracted – rather, he’s dialed into your life. The Bible reminds us that He knows the very number of hairs upon your head. And He longs to give you ‘good’, even as you navigate the ups and downs of living in a broken world. (see Matthew 7:7-12 & Matthew 10:30).
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. ~James 1:17
As you read Luke 17:11-19 – you see an encounter Jesus has where he releases his power to radically change and alter the situation and conditions for 10 guys who needed help. His grace exceeded their expectation and explanation. It’s in the midst of this miracle that ONE of the 10, realized he couldn’t move forward without first going back. 10% decided to return because gratitude welled up within his soul to go and thank Jesus. 90% moved on to ‘number next’ in life and on the agenda.
Why is the expression of gratitude more difficult than we think? 10% seems low. I like to think I’m more grateful than perhaps I am. 90% moved on – consumption of the next need was their default. 10% decided that they needed to pause and be grateful. We see Jesus interacting and connecting with that ONE – way more than the other nine.
Maybe God is interested in a relational connection with us, and not just religious compliance by us…
Maybe gratitude is an attitude that God enjoys.
Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be richer for having made it. ~A.W. Tozer
The challenge for us: make sure we realign our lives to be more quickly and more readily in the “10%”.
GRATITUDE is fuel for an active and growing faith with Jesus.
Gratitude grows best within a posture of humility. Watch out for the pull of entitlement.
The bigger our sense of entitlement, the smaller our sense of gratitude. Stay humble my friends and let gratitude grow and fuel your faith.
Activity: Why not take 10 minutes to stop and write a Thank You note to God – allowing gratitude to grow within your soul.