February 19, 2015

Attitude of Gratitude

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 19, 2015

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Colossians 3:16

When I was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 I was not happy, nor thankful. I was sad and mad. I felt like God had let me down. After serving Him for 32 years, how could He allow this sickness to seize my body? I had much to learn. The Spirit taught me through the head nurse that this illness was not about me, but about the Lord and His glory. Furthermore, my sweet intimacy with Christ and my wife grew to a whole new level. My worship focused on the majesty of my Master and thankfulness to Him. Singing to God conceived and birthed gratitude in my heart.

Paul unpacks teachings pregnant with principles related to an attitude of gratitude. In Colossians 3:15, he connects thankfulness to peace. Peace is our truce with God. It is total surrender to His terms and conditions. Thankfully, we can wholeheartedly trust His expectations: to love Him, love people and love our enemies. The Lord’s peace in our hearts grows gratitude.  We are thankful for a just ruler over our heart and mind. The peace of Christ is a gracious governor. Because of our merciful Master Jesus we are compelled to worship Him with grateful hearts.

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

An attitude of gratitude is especially beneficial for broken believers in Jesus. Those who praise God in their pain are able to persevere. Your hope becomes bigger than life or death, because your help comes from the Lord (Psalm 28:7). Your thankfulness trumps your circumstances, since your joy is based on the loving presence of Jesus. Spiritual and emotional wholeness comes when you focus on praising God for His goodness and glory. Stay thankful in your trials as well as your triumphs. An attitude of gratitude attacks adversity. It wins and rules.

Furthermore, gratitude focuses on the Giver, not the gift. We look to God’s heart not His hand. We focus on what we can give Him in adoration, not what we can get from Him in accomplishments. Gratitude elevates our thinking to matters of eternity, freeing our soul—not matters of earth that ensnare us. Thus, we find fulfillment when we look for the good in people and situations. We become an answer to prayer, a solution to a problem and support to those who need us. Gratitude brings out the best in us and others. It is a song waiting to be sung!

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, grow my attitude of gratitude—so I am a giver not a taker.

Related Readings: Job 1:21; Psalm 34:1, 95:2;  Acts 16:25; Ephesians 5:4, 19; Hebrews 13:15

Post/Tweet this today: Gratitude focuses on the Giver not the gift. We look to God’s heart not  His hand. #attitudeofgratitude #wisdomhunters

Additional Resource: 4 minute music video- Gaither’s: I Just Want to Thank You Lord

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