The Power of Gratitude

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Dr. Bob Miller

Saying “thank you” is one of the earliest lessons we try to teach our children. Expressing gratitude for a gift is essential to experiencing the generosity of the giver. Rejoicing in thankfulness is a product of appreciating Who is doing the giving over what is being given.

We long to do and be in God’s will. It’s learning to say “thank you” in and for every circumstance in life.

Being thankful opens our heart to the provision, promises and presence of God. He will always care for us, He is always true to His word, and He will never leave us.

Appreciating His Provision. Our God gives all that is good . . . and all that He gives is good. Paul reminds us, “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” (‭2 Cor‬ ‭9‬:‭15‬ ESV). The psalmist writes, “Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise His holy name. Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things He does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things . . .” (‭Psalms‬ ‭103‬:‭1-5‬ NLT). Gratitude for what we have grounds us for what He wants to give us. Harry Ironside says, “We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.”‬‬‬‬‬‬

Appreciating His Promises. Herbert Lockyer, in his book, “All The Promises Of The Bible”, states there are just over 8,000 promises listed in Scripture. All that God has promised will come to pass. His promises are proved by His person. Paul writes, “For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding ‘Yes!’ And through Christ, our ‘Amen’ (which means ‘Yes’) ascends to God for his glory.” (‭2 Cor‬ ‭1‬:‭20‬ NLT).‬‬‬

Russell Kelso Carter was a star athlete and an excellent student. He worked as a teacher, coach, and minister, eventually attending medical school, and spending his last years as a physician. Carter was also a musician and songwriter. A crisis with his physical heart placed him on the path to understand the reality and power of God’s promises. At the age of 30, his health was in critical condition and the physicians could do no more. Carter turned to God for help and healing. He knelt and made a commitment that his life was finally, forever and fully consecrated to the service of the Lord. It was from that moment that the written Word of God became alive to Dr. Carter. No matter how he felt, he would stand upon the promises of God. Over the course of the next several months his strength returned, and his heart was healed. Carter lived a full life of 79 years. Several years before his healing, he wrote these words:

“Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let His praises ring,
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.”

Appreciating His Presence. David writes, “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!” (‭Ps 100‬:‭1-2‬ ESV) Too often we want to analyze the “why” instead of appreciating the “Who”. We can thank Him because we can trust Him. The psalmist reminds us, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.” (‭Ps 107‬:‭1‬ NIV)‬‬‬‬

Staying thankful maximizes our awareness of tremendous blessings and minimizes the attacks of trials and burdens. Gratitude opens the door of rejoicing and closes the door of regret.

Today, see how many times we can thank God . . . for Who He is, for how He cares for us and for what He does for us. In everything, give thanks.

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