I want to live with a heart bent on gratitude. To have a natural inclination towards seeing what is being given rather than what is lacking. So often we are naturally ticked off at life, feeling that most of the time things are not going as they should. We feel we have a right to feeling good, having everything we want and avoiding difficulty or suffering. If things do not go as planned, if we have a bad day or a hard season in life, we feel ripped-off. We feel we deserve good things and when we have them, we take them for granted.
Years ago I read a few passages from the Bible (John 3:17-18, Romans 8:19-23) that helped me see that I am entitled to nothing! Our world is cursed because of our sin. The constant in this life apart from God is brokenness, so I cannot expect or lay claim to any goodness as if I deserve it or have a right to it. Thankfully, God provides grace through Jesus. Instead of being entitled to anything, we need to realize that literally “every good and perfect gift is from above,” (James 1:17). Every morsel of food, every lung-full of breath, every bleary-eyed new morning. Everything that sustains us, comforts us, delights us and excites us is a gift from God. And all of these moment-by-moment gifts go against the default brokenness of our lives.
I want to position my heart into a posture of gratitude. I do not deserve the life I have been given, and yet every day I experience thousands of blessings. Let’s practice daily being thankful and daily spur each other on. Let’s orient ourselves around the Giver of all good gifts.
Recently I benefited from hearing a sermon on the power of thankfulness (which you can hear by clicking here). Pastor Jack talked about how being thankful is a lost practice, and therefore many people themselves are lost. Thankfulness orients us around God, around the source of life, hope, peace, joy. When we are not tuning our hearts towards God and regularly recognizing Him with gratitude, we are then oriented around something else which will not guide us into life. Thankfulness orients us around the Giver of all good things.
I hope as part of what I write on this blog to share on a regular basis what I am thankful for. I am glad I have a space like this that can help facilitate my growth in this area. These posts will sometimes pour out of me without effort, the genuine fruit of being aware of God’s good and beautiful presence in my life. More often than not though it will be a choice and an intentional practice in training my heart in thankfulness. And sometimes it will be a humble offering in the midst of difficulty, knowing that despite any and all circumstances, God is faithful, does not change and therefore, I can be thankful.
I would like to invite you to join in with me. What place does thankfulness have in your life? What are you thankful for today?