When you experience something good, a normal reaction is joy and enthusiasm. How do we build gratitude into our celebrations though? God loves to delight us, but He wants us to delight in Him as well. Gratitude turns our awe & wonder at our blessing back to Him.
We need this step of thanksgiving because it keeps us humble and points our heart back to trusting God for provision rather than believing we merit favor. Gratitude must become a practice in our lives.
- Celebrate the people who have played a role in your life- As we move our eyes off ourselves, it frees our heart to draw honor to the people God has used to bless us. Give appreciation lavishly. Proverbs says that gracious words are a honeycomb to the soul. Let your words offer life and refreshing to others.
- Be intentional in recording what you are grateful for- Making the choice to see the good and be thankful shapes your attitudes. You learn to see good more easily, and this should drive you back to the posture of worship. How to record and remember what you are thankful for is up to each individual. Find what works for you- journal time, telling a friend, setting aside time at lunch, etc.
- Show your gratitude by giving- If God has blessed you abundantly, give from your abundance. A thankful heart knows that what we have is not our own, and our real treasures are in heaven, so it frees us to give. This does not have to be money. What has God given you? If it is a joyful, freed heart, go speak life to someone who needs it. If it is a thriving ministry, share your time and experience to provide wisdom. Choose to give as a model of how Christ has freely given.
Live in joy
The forgiveness of the Cross is the ultimate gift we have been given, and that changes everything for us. We have much reason to celebrate daily and come with thanksgiving. We need our hearts to be woken up again to the joy of salvation and even the little daily elements of life we have taken for granted.
How will you practice gratitude this week? Jesus is inviting you to know Him deeper, and gratitude is the first step towards Him.