1st January 2018

An Attitude of Gratitude 

“…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJV)

Have you ever heard the question: “What if you woke up today with only the things that you thanked God for yesterday?” Just let that question sink in for a moment before you move on. It really is an interesting and terrifying thought. It’s a profound question about gratitude which got me thinking. Yesterday did I thank God for my wife, my children, my health, my home? Did I thank him for the grace he has shown me in Christ Jesus? What if I woke up this morning and none of these things were present in my life?

Here’s another question to think about: “What if you woke up today with none of the things that you complained about yesterday?” What were some of those things? Your job, your family, your church? What if none of those things existed today? It certainly concentrates the mind doesn’t it? We take so many things for granted, from the people in our lives, to the benefits of the society we live in, from clean water and fresh food, to the blessing of being in a relationship with Jesus Christ and being part of a Christian community. Even worse, we complain about many of those same things.

Why don’t you take some time figuring out what is important to you, jot them down and spend some time giving thanks for those things, first to God, the giver of all good gifts (James 1:17), but also to those people in your life who mean so much. Here’s an excerpt from a poem by Heather Spears Kallus entitled ‘Full or empty’[1] that expresses this sentiment:
How full or empty would our world be,
If we had only things we’d thanked God for on bended knee?
Would we have a home, some food, or money?
How ’bout a job, some clothes, and our Honey?
Could we see with our eyes and speak with our lips?
Could we walk with our legs and dance with our hips?
Would our children be there to tuck in at night?
Would the sun wake us up with new morning light?
How full or empty would our world be,
If we had only things we’d thanked God for on bended knee?”

Whether we show gratitude for the things in our life or complain about them, is a choice we make. I know I complain all too much, but as I ponder on this, I choose to have an attitude of gratitude. How about you?

Father, may we enter your gates with thanksgiving as we praise and give thanks to your name.

Study by Barry Robinson


About the Author:
Barry Robinson is an Elder in and pastoral worker in the Greater London area, particularly the Camberwell and North London congregations of the Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion International Central London
Indian YMCA
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2:30pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Barry Robinson
Email:   london@gracecom.church

[1] Bethany Messenger April 2017, www.bethanybatavia.org

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