A Heart of Praise
What do you think of when you hear the word gratitude? Maybe you think of thank you cards, Thanksgiving, or just two small words that you prompt your children to say when they receive a gift or some kind deed. The Bible says, “Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20). This means that our grateful spirit should not just be an infrequent character trait that we pull out for special occasions or the holidays, but a daily spirit of praise.
We truly have so much to be thankful for – each and every day. In reality, we do not often live like that. The constant demands, struggles, and worries get us down more often than they lead us to a heart of thankfulness. Or we forget, in the busyness of life, just to pause and give thanks, for all that God has done, and continues to do in our lives.
Sometimes it really is a sacrifice to offer praise and thanksgiving. We may not feel like it. We’re struggling. We’re weary. Or we feel like God has let us down. We think God seems distant, like He is far away, or doesn’t really care about what is troubling us. Painful blows and losses might have recently sent us spiraling.
Here is what can make a lasting difference – in your life and in the lives of your precious children who are watching you face life. We have a choice, every day, to give God thanks. And with a heart of gratitude, we can realize that no matter what we face, God doesn’t just work to change our situations and help us through our problems. He does more. He changes our hearts. His power, through hearts of gratitude and minds focused on Him, releases the grip our struggles have over us. We are strengthed by His peace, refueled by His joy.
When we choose gratitude, it helps to take our minds off ourselves, and helps us to focus on God. It takes our mind off our problems and puts it on to the One who can provide a solution. Gratitude reminds us that we serve a mighty God who is in control of everything. We need Him. It reminds us of how much we have to be thankful for and that life can always be worse. God is the Giver of good gifts, and gratitude reminds us of the multitude of blessings that He so graciously bestows upon us. A heart of gratitude leaves no room for complaining because it is impossible to be grateful and negative at the same time. It makes the enemy flee. It opens the door for continued blessings and invites God’s presence. Through gratitude, we are refreshed and renewed.
When doubt or fear or worry seem to overwhelm you, stop! And count God’s blessings. Psalm 103:1-5 states, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Further, Psalm 9:1 reminds us that we should be able to say with David, “I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” Let’s a;;pw God’s praise, His benefits, and His wonderful deeds to be always on our lips so that our children can inherit a heart of praise.