Gratitude; an Attitude

With Thanksgiving almost here, most families and friends will be sitting around a table enjoying a meal together. It’s a day that we spend together eating and visiting with family and friends. Some people gather together for the meal, maybe play some games or watch the football game. Others express their gratitude for the many blessings they’ve experienced in this past year by having each person share what they are thankful for. Many families have their own traditions.

Whether we express our gratefulness out loud or not, as believers in Jesus we are to maintain a heart of gratitude. This comes from recognizing we have been forgiven much. We’ve been pardoned. We aren’t getting what we deserve. Jesus paid the price for each one of us. His death on the cross was enough. It was enough for each one of us to live our lives with an attitude of gratitude. Yet, for so many of us, we base our gratitude on what life’s circumstances are at the moment. Jesus’ sacrifice should be enough for us to be thankful for the rest of our lives, yet we allow trials and hard times to interfere with our heart attitude.

Regardless if our lives are thriving or struggling God calls us to maintain a joyful heart. I know that is difficult to do when circumstances are overwhelming. When life is tough that’s all that we see. Seeing things from God’s perspective takes effort and intention on our part. We don’t know the reasons for the suffering. God does. That’s where trust comes in. Trusting that God does love us and knows what is best for us. Psalms 9:10 “Those who know Your name will trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You.” In spite of the circumstances, we are to be thankful. Even in the midst of trials, when we look outside of ourselves, we can find things to be thankful for.

Psalms 95:1-2

“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.”

Ephesians 5:20
“Always giving thanks to God the father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

We have to adjust our mindset to match His. That’s why God tells us to set our focus on Him and not on the circumstances or other people. It’s hard to be negative when the focus is taken off of ourselves and set on things worthy of praise; God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit!

Phil. 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

I have learned that I am better when my heart is in right standing with God. When I live my life out of gratefulness for what was given to me by Jesus’ death on the cross, I am at my best. It’s hard for me to be selfish when I acknowledge that I have received a pardon for my actions. I like myself much better when I am living a life of gratitude and when I have Jesus as my focus.

Psalms 16:11
” You will make known to me the path of life, In Your presence is fullness of joy; In your right hand there are pleasures forever.”

God invites you to sit at His table.

Luke 13:29
“And they will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God.”

It is God’s desire that all will sit at His banqueting table. Having a place at His table means you’ve accepted the invitation. It means you’ve been forgiven, you are valued and of great significance. You are loved! That is the best reason to be grateful.

As you gather together with friends and family remember you have a place at His table!

Let us remember to express our gratitude not only on Thanksgiving but on each and every day.

May you have a Happy Thanksgiving!