“Gratitude follows grace like thunder lightning”, writes Karl Barth. I think so, too. There is nothing bigger or better in life than receiving grace through faith in Jesus Christ!
G.K. Charleston has said “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.“ If we take time to wonder God’s mysteries in our lives we start to see God’s handiwork all around us. We need to cultivate wonder because wonder leads us to God. Wonder leads us to being in reverent awe of God. Wonder leads us to overflowing gratitude.
Gratitude is an attitude of …
…seeing life as a gift of God.
…living life in awe of God’s grace.
…giving thanks in any circumstance.
…praising the Lord with every breath we take.
…loving God in everything we do.
…sharing God’s extravagant grace with our neighbors.
…focusing on God’s goodness.
“Gratitude claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy”, writes Henri J. M. Nouwen. Gratitude as a discipline involves a choice. We can choose to be grateful in any circumstance. We can choose to be grateful even when we are still hurt, bitter or resentful.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer points out that we prevent God from giving us the great spiritual gifts He has in store for us, because we do not give thanks for daily gifts. Bonhoeffer says we pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts. Isn’t that true? How can then God entrust great things to us if we will not thankfully receive from Him the little things?
How can we practice gratitude? Like all the wisdom gratitude needs to be lived out. Otherwise it does not enhance our lives. One way to put gratitude in practice is praying. Praying for our loved ones, praying for our difficult co-workers, praying for events and situations in advance. Then we are much more likely to be graceful and grateful for them in real life.
Practicing gratitude is….
…learning to live always in grace and extending that grace to others, too.
…a gift for others but also to ourselves because it frees energy and lifts our focus from us and our problems to God.
…a habit of counting our blessings.
…a habit of offering thanks, first and foremost, to God and to the people with whom we are living and working.
…an attitude of celebrating the Gift of Life and the Giver of Life.
God has the power to provide you with more than enough of every kind of grace. That way, you will have everything you need always and in everything to provide more than enough for every kind of good work. As it is written, He scattered everywhere; he gave to the needy; his righteousness remains forever.
The one who supplies seed for planting and bread for eating will supply and multiply your seed and will increase your crop, which is righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous in every way. Such generosity produces thanksgiving to God through us. Your ministry of this service to God’s people isn’t only fully meeting their needs but it is also multiplying in many expressions of thanksgiving to God. They will give honor to God for your obedience to your confession of Christ’s gospel. They will do this because this service provides evidence of your obedience, and because of your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone. They will also pray for you, and they will care deeply for you because of the outstanding grace that God has given to you. Thank God for his gift that words can’t describe! (2. Cor. 9: 8-15, CEB)
We praise you for your lovingkindness!
Teach us how to live praising you.
Show us how to joyfully serve you.
Guide us to always choose gratitude.
Direct us to live in awe of You.
Empower us to share your grace.
Equip us with overflowing gratitude.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: How are you maintaining the attitude of gratitude? How are you practicing gratitude?
Be blessed, fellow pilgrim as you become a gratitude practitioner! Happy Thanksgiving! Today & forever!