Gratitude, as defined by the World English Dictionary is “a feeling of thankfulness or appreciation, as for gifts or favors.”
Most of us would like to think of ourselves as grateful people. When something goes wrong…then we’re not so grateful as gratitude is a feeling. Feelings are fickle which can come & go. Let a few things go wrong in the same week or even in the same day (!) & gratitude slips away from us even more.
It is hard to be grateful – all of the time. A grateful heart is one that needs to be cultivated.
In his book, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, Richard Foster writes:
Jesus was the ultimate grateful person. The signature written across his life was the prayer, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven & earth” (Luke 10:21).
If we are going to be a people of gratitude, we are surely going to need to adopt this same attitude that Jesus displayed.
We are told that on the very night that He was betrayed – and may we remember that He not only knew that betrayal was coming but He knew the identity of the betrayer – He still broke bread & gave thanks.
Foster goes on to say this about the heart of God as He receives our gratitude:
Our God is not made of stone. His heart is the most sensitive & tender of all. No act goes unnoticed, no matter how insignificant or small. A cup of cold water is enough to put tears in the eyes of God. Like the proud mother who is thrilled to receive a wilted bouquet of dandelions from her child so God celebrates our feeble expressions of gratitude.
Our God is moved by our gratitude. He knows the sacrifice that it takes some days to be thankful. He appreciates that we muster it up anyway.
Some days we ask, “What is the will of God?”
Regarding thanks & gratitude, He spells it out for us:
“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 NIV
So today, give thanks.
It’s His will that we do.