The heart of gratitude

heart of gratitude

Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20

Thankfulness takes the sting out of adversity. That is why I have instructed you to give thanks for everything. There is an element of mystery in this transaction: You give Me thanks (regardless of your feelings), and I give you Joy (regardless of your circumstances). This is a spiritual act of obedience- at times, blind obedience. To people who don’t know Me intimately, it can seem irrational and even impossible to thank Me for heartrending hardships. nonetheless, those who obey Me in this way are invariably blessed, even though difficulties may remain. -Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love endures forever.” Psalm 118:1

Thankfulness opens your heart to My Presence and your mind to My thoughts. You may still be in the same place, with the same set of circumstances, but it is as if a light has been switched on, enabling you to see from My perspective. It is this Light of My Presence that removes the sting from adversity. -Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
    who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.” Psalm 89:15

Dr. Charles Stanley shared ten benefits of giving thanks that have always stayed with me. I’ll share a few each day as we head toward Thanksgiving. Here is what Dr. Stanley has to say:

Gratitude impacts every area of our lives. By giving us the command to always give thanks, God is not rubbing salt in a wound or calling us to set aside reason. He knows that being thankful in all circumstances has a powerful impact on every area of our Christian life. Here are ten lessons I’ve learned:

1. Gratitude keeps us continually aware that the Lord is close by. Even though gratefulness does not come naturally in difficult circumstances, a decision to thank God for walking with us through life makes us more sensitive to His comforting presence.

2. Gratitude motivates us to look for His purpose in our circumstance. Knowing that the Lord allows hurt and trouble for His good purposes takes the edge off the pain. Even if we don’t understand why we’re going through suffering, we can thank God because we know that in His time, He will work it all for good. In the meantime, we can rest in the knowledge that He is using every hardship to transform us into the image of His Son. [Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i]have been called according to his purpose.”]

3. Thanksgiving helps bring our will into submission to God. When the situation we’re experiencing is the last thing we’d ever want, thanking the Lord is a giant step toward being able to follow Christ’s example and say, “Not my will, but Yours be done” [Luke 22:42 Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” . Gratitude helps us acknowledge that God’s will is best, even if it’s hard; in that way, we are able to release our hold on what we want. Although the circumstances may remain the same, submission changes our heart.

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