Jill Jarrell Newsome
Attitude of Gratitude
In my life I have learned that the more thankful I am, the more I have to be thankful for. Sometimes it is hard to be thankful when we are having a pity party but there is always, always, always something to be thankful for. God has shown me the most beautiful way to start and end my day is with a grateful heart, thanking Him for my blessings. Sometimes when the weight of the world is on my mind in the darkness of the night, I list my blessings and it always brings me peace. Many times I lift the simple things of life such as the beautiful walk I had, the beach, the sunset. I try to remember the things I take for granted such as God's provisions such as my meals, being able to pay my bills and thankful for His Word which gives comfort, guidance and peace.
King David seemed to remain aware of what God had done for him and for the nation of Israel. David experienced disappointment, heartache and pain. But he always poured out thankfulness to God. When we cultivate a spirit of thankfulness it honors God. It strengthens our faith and and our relationships.
I remember having a pity party when I was sick and trying to tell God what all I was thankful for. I thanked Him for me being bald because the hot flashes were so intense that not having hair truly helped! I have often looked back on that day. It was one of the lowest days of my life and God taught me a valuable lesson in the midst of hopelessness. I have never forgotten that lesson and I thank Him, regularly, for the hard times because I know, I truly know, that I will be closer to Him when I go through those things. I have always heard 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
There are two verses in the Bible that command us to be thankful. Colossians 3: 15, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." Hebrews 12: 28, "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken,let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe..." A thankful heart also brings contentment. I love the quote by Ralph H Blum, "there is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy."
We know we are commanded to give thanks but there is a difference between being thankful and giving thanks. We are thankful but thanksgiving is something we give. God wants us to give thanks because we need it. I have never thought about Psalm 116: 17, "I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the Lord." Thanking God for a trial is actually an offering that He highly values. This brings pleasure to God and brings a breakthrough for us. God doesn't need our thanks because He needs it, we need it. When we learn to give thanks in the midst of difficulty it becomes habit. We begin to live in this realm of praise and thanksgiving and where there is praise and thanksgiving the enemy no longer has the ability to manipulate us! Defeat Satan with a thankful heart! Our negative circumstance seems to turn around because we are changed, our outlook is changed and our attitude is changed. There is a lot of power in a thankful heart!
Gratitude does not come naturally to humans. Luke 17: 11-19, "Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, 'Jesus, Master, have pity on us!' When he saw them, he said, 'Go, show yourselves to the priests.' And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, 'Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?' Then he said to him, 'Rise and go; your faith has made you well.'” Now, you know the other nine were thankful to be healed but they did not give thanks.
Psalm 86: 12, "I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever."
We are thankful so let's make sure we express our thanks for all the specific blessings that God has poured on us.