An Attitude of Gratitude
The role of a parent can sometimes be a thankless job. We sacrifice time, money and resources in an attempt to build our children into godly adults, who, in turn, pass this heritage on to their children. In most cases, however, it is not until our children reach adulthood, are married, and have their own children that they recognize the extent to which we gave unconditionally. Such is the case with the relationship many believers have with their Eternal Father, God.
Thankfulness is to render gratitude, or express thanks for words spoken or actions taken on our behalf. In order to be thankful, however, we must be able to recognize the giver’s favor, gifts or promises on our behalf. The Bible is filled with as many as 30,000 different promises from God to His children. Everyday we receive grace, favor, and the fulfillment of His promises.
We don’t always recognize His goodness because it is contrary to our will. For example, when it rains on our family reunion, we don’t appreciate His goodness. But when that same rain waters the ground causing food to grow, then we eat it, and we see His goodness.
You may be wondering, “But how can I be thankful for pain and heartache?” God is not asking you to be thankful, but to give thanks. There’s a difference between feeling thankful and giving thanks. One involves trusting our feelings, the other involves trusting God. While our feelings will mislead us, God won’t. Sometimes we have to trust Him through difficult circumstances, recognizing that He is sovereign and in control. Even if we don’t immediately see the fulfillment of His promise, it doesn’t mean we won’t see it fulfilled eventually.
Gratitude begins with a tender heart of repentance. To obtain a repentant heart, we may need to ask ourselves how and if we have rejected God and His blessings. Have we said, “This is not enough,” or “This is not what I asked for”? In what areas of our lives have we challenged His goodness, disbelieved His promises, and refused to give glory to Him? Begin to acknowledge who God is and what He has done even when you don’t understand why. Our lack of understanding should never be an excuse not to give thanks. — “Give thanks in all things for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,” (I Thessalonians 5:18).
A heart of gratitude must be cultivated, and can be a sacrifice of time and effort.
It is significant that even Paul said, “I