Gratitude

 Gratitude Unlocks the Fullness of Life

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow” – Melody Beattie

I love this quote, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.” Don’t you?

The Oxford Dictionary defines “grateful” as showing appreciation of kindness. And “thankful” as pleased or relieved – both great feelings. The difference – being thankful is a feeling – being grateful is an action.

The Bibles say…. “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18

Over the years, I’ve learned to be grateful in all things. Not to say that I get it right all of the time. I do slip up. I’m a work in progress.

I’ve learned being grateful in all things, no matter what the outcome, is truly beneficial to my soul and the way I relate to God. Instead of constant negativity, (which was my usual state of mind) along with constant turmoil, the heaviness in my heart was overwhelming.  

As I read more of God’s word and what He says about thankfulness and being grateful, I thought, “Why shouldn’t I be thankful and grateful in my circumstances?” Is that attitude going to change the circumstances? Not necessarily. I can continue to complain and be angry. I can ask God when, why and what if…

OR, I can be content.  Appreciate the now. Be thankful. Be grateful. 

The trials of today can be overwhelming, right?  When we allow self-pity, doubt, negative thoughts, we allow the enemy to steal our joy.

I can question God with why’s and what if”s.

OR

I can pray, “God, I know you have a plan. Help me to be patient. I am grateful for your love and knowing You are with me. God, I know you are good, I know you are faithful and just”

                                               A grateful heart gives joy to the soul.

The Bible says, A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up bones. Proverbs 17:22 ESV

The secret is realizing that we don’t deserve anything from God, but death. Yet, He is gentle. He says, “Daughter you are mine! I love you and I will be with you. I am all you need.”

Ladies, sometimes we go down a dark path of despair and nothing is going the way we think it should.

Especially when it comes to our children. I don’t care how old they are, they will always be our babies. And our mama heart hurts for our children and start questioning why are these bad things happening, why, why, WHY!!!

Well, why not? Who are we to question the God that has sacrificed so much through His son, so that we can have fellowship with Him?

We may face something new each day. Heart wrenching, painful things happen to all of us. My question to you is, what will you do if the most horrible thing happens? Will you still serve God?

God does want the best for us! But He also wants our grateful hearts! Hearts of surrender, no matter what comes our way. WE should strive to say, “Yes, God. Your will be done.”

Are we going to run FROM Him down a dark path OR run TO Him?

Knowing HIS arms are open wide, we can run to Him! Fall face down in His arms and cry out to Him. Thank Him in all circumstances.

Do you know God is close to the brokenhearted? He knows our hearts. He knows we are human.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.  Psalm 34:18

I could make a list of hurts and pains from my past and present. I can also tell you how God worked in each one of those circumstances.

I DO NOT want to minimize anyone’s pain. Some of you are going through some of the worst pain right now, emotionally and spiritually. Please hear me when I say, you are loved and deeply cared for. God isn’t punishing you or condemning you. He is saying, “Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest. I will hold you in my arms if you’ll let me.”

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest… for I am gentle and lowly in heart… you will find rest for your souls.  Matthew 11:28-29 ESV

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication* with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 ESV  *Supplication: the action of asking for something humbly.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him bless His name. Psalm 100:4 ESV

WHAT IF we try something different?

Here’s your assignment! Be thankful every day. Start a journal, write down everything you are thankful/grateful for. Update your list daily if you can. Let God speak His love and kindness over you today.

This is what I know…

Our Heavenly Father is alive and will ALWAYS deserve our thankfulness and gratitude in ALL circumstances! Because He loves us no matter what! He is our provider, our counselor, Almighty God, Prince of Peace, the God who Saves and the God who sees you & me.

Dear Father,

Thank You for giving us life and never leaving us alone. You are God and we are not. Help us to realize we cannot control the outcome of our future. You have us in Your hand. Thank You for the plans You have for each one of us. No matter what, we are forever grateful. It’s because of You that we exist.

In Jesus name,

Amen

Deb Cool

Deb is passionate about Jesus and women’s ministry. She currently leads a women’s small group through her church, LCBC Waynesboro.

Deb has been married for 42 years to the love of her life, Rodney. They have awesome sons whom have beautiful wives. And they are blessed with nine amazing grandchildren.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him.  Psalm 28:7 ESV

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