Recently, I was listening to a message on faith and how our relationship with God is not something that we turn on and off but live in and through in each of our days. Our relationship with God is a lifelong journey as we meet with Jesus and experience His outpouring through the Spirit. How wonderfully amazing is God that He knows us so well, that He gives us a lifetime to learn about Him, to grow in our understanding of Him and to experience His love over and over again. I am so thankful that God has given me a lifelong journey to be in relationship with Him. I am thankful for the grace He has shown me when I have stumbled, messed up and tripped myself up. Even in the times of struggle and challenge, my heart is full and overflowing with thankfulness for everything that God has done for me. I choose to be thankful, grateful, and appreciative of all that He does in love. Without God in my life, I have nothing. He is my centre, my peace, my shelter, and my rock. I have so much to be grateful for. How about you? When I think of Gratitude it reminds me of Psalm 136:1. “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever” Gratitude is a loving and thankful response toward God. 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 tells us to: “Be joyful always; pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Being grateful and giving thanks is possible because whatever is before us, we have Christ with us, in us and for us. God so loved the world that He gave His only son for us, to take our sins upon Himself so we could be restored to the Father once again. When Jesus returned to the Father, He sent His Spirit to reside in us to guide us and direct us in the way we should go. That is a lot to be grateful for. Gratitude changes our perspective. When we focus on what we have and have been given, we take our minds of what we haven’t got, have missed out on, and been left out of. It not about what we have not but what we have because of Christ. We have the choice of how we will respond to the circumstances that come our way each day. We can either react with a focus of the loss, the negative, and the less than perfect circumstances or we can look to Jesus and be reminded that through the Christ and the life we have been given through His death on the cross, we have much to be thankful for, no matter what the circumstances before us. We have the power to interpret the facts of our lives. We make the choices that turn our thoughts toward bitterness or gratefulness. Which will you choose?
Being Grateful and Thankful changes our heart and our perspective. Has there been a time when choosing to be grateful has changed the way you have moved through a challenging time in your life?
Have you known people or met people who seem always grateful even though life may be less than perfect for them?
What is different about them? How has that impacted on the way you see your life?
Have you met people who seem always focused on what they haven’t got, have missed out on, or should have gotten?
How has that impacted on how you respond to them and how you see your life?
What is at the Centre of a thankful heart?
How would you explain this to someone who does not have a relationship with Christ?
1 Thessalonians 5:
16-18 Colossians 4:2
Psalm 136:1-3, 26
Philippians 4:6, 11,12
Proverbs 14:30 Hebrew 13:5