Faith General

Six Reasons to be Grateful

All honesty, I’m a glass-half-empty guy. Blame it on my personality, but when I look at life, my bent is to see what is wrong versus what’s good and right. Not that seeing the flaws is always a bad thing. Sometimes, problem-solving means you need to see what’s broken before you can fix it.

When it comes to our cultural push for the Thanksgiving season, I get a bit cynical. “Don’t force me to be thankful when I am not.”  And yet, as I consider the high value I place on having a personal relationship with Christ, what He has to say about gratitude weighs heavily on my otherwise grateful-less soul.

Here are six reasons to be grateful.

1. It glorifies God.

For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.  2 Corinthians 4:15 ESV

The ultimate reason to be grateful is that God gets glorified.  His name gets displayed for all to see and he is exalted above all other names.

2. It gets us to do God’s Will

give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  

1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV

It’s easier to thank God when life is good; harder when life is bad. Yet, we are told that in ALL circumstances we are to be thankful.  Two weeks after our daughter’s wedding, I had unexpected quadruple heart bypass surgery.  In all honesty, it sent me reeling. The entire next year was one of questioning my purpose.  “Why am I even alive?”  And yet, now, I look back and thank God for that excruciating time in my life.

3.  It brings us peace.

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 ESV

When I give God my requests out of a heart of thankfulness, peace, His peace, surpasses all of my understanding. I can’t explain it, but my heart is more settled, even when life is undone. 

4. It fosters contentment.

But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these, we will be content.  1 Timothy 6:6-8 ESV

Here’s the deal. You can’t be godly if you are not thankful. They go hand-in-hand. Not grateful to the government or to some human institution, but grateful to God. He is the one who sustains you and whether that is with much or little, it is Him who all thanksgiving is ultimately to.

5. It brings us joy.

Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” Psalm 126:2 ESV

When you see God doing great things, you are filled with thanksgiving and joy. His great thing might be a change in attitude with one of your friends, or your spouse. Or, it could be physical healing you experience. Or, provision. God does great things so that we might be filled with joy. 

6. It empowers your testimony.

And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Revelation 12:11 ESV

There are two things that empower your influence on this world; the blood of Jesus Christ shed for the sins of the world (yours and mine) and the word of your testimony. Deeply rooted in your story is to be gratefulness for all God has done to redeem you. Gratitude empowers your testimony.

So, there you have it!  Six reasons to be grateful. Which ones do you lack?

By faith, ask God to give you a heart of thankfulness, even when life is not going well. That will stump your friends.

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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