Colossians 2.6-7 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thanksgiving.
Basis of gratitude. To be thankful for everything, I mean literally everything. Hard isn’t it to be thankful for everything?
I challenge you to say thank you for everything that happens in your day to day journey. To thank God for all the provisions. It isn’t always easy to be thankful when the journey is tough.
But the challenge we face as Christians is to be thankful, to be grateful for anything received, thankful for being blessed. It is easier to be blessed than to give.
Often times when someone gifts you with something big, there is a sense of obligation. Obligation to do right by them. Obligation to do something in return. But sometimes we need to be blessed and accept the gift. I have been told on a few occasions that it is an offense to decline a gift, because you are taking away that person’s blessing.
When I received money towards the publishing of my book, I knew I knew I had to persevere with getting my book published despite some of the negative feedback I would be getting. I knew it was in God’s will and I should not let it deter me from fulfilling God’s purpose for my life.
There will always be people in life who will discourage you from doing what is right, who will try and get you to deviate from God’s plan. But then there are also people who will encourage you, and who will support you and believe in your ministry. It is the people that encourage you that you should trust, not the ones that have a critical mind-frame. All you can do is pray for them, and be thankful for their lives.
Snapshot from the past: I remember when my son died, and every waking moment I got, I thanked God for saving his life, and having mercy on my son’s life. I was worshipping God, and thanking Him for the hardships in my life and the lessons that I can learn from them. My sister once asked me:
‘Hannah, why are you thanking God for taking away your son?’
I said ‘because I know that my son is safe in the arms of Jesus.’
So every-time I am sad now, she reminds me that my son is safe in the arms of Jesus!
The lesson here is – she learnt that through my gratitude and thanksgiving to the Lord, that my son is safe, and that he is in a better place then here one earth.
Have a grateful spirit. Easy to say. Hard to do. Learn to praise God even during difficult times. I remember when my son passed, it was with difficulty that I praised the Lord, but His blessings rained upon me, and in return for praising God and for having a grateful spirit I was at peace about my son’s death.
The basis of gratitude:
- Received Christ (it’s a gift of grace)
- Rooted in Christ (healthy spiritual growth in my life)
- Built up in Christ (foundations are strong found in the word of God)
- Strengthened in Christ (it is a journey. Growing, taking shape like a building. It is a process. Facilitated by Christ).
- Live for Christ (living in obedience to Christ)
- Grateful to Christ (live a life of continued gratitude, with whatever circumstances we face).
Therefore, we should live lives of gratitude. It can come out in many different ways:
- Pray – thanking God for opportunities, for situations,
- Look – around you, be thankful, help others to be thankful.
- Remember – remember what God has provided for you in the past, and what he is continuing to do now.
- Reflect – reflect on how God has impacted you, and how you can impact others through your gifts. What has helped you to live a life of thankfulness?
I thank God every day for my book opportunity and for the many opportunities that He is paving my way. I thank Him for his presence in my life and for His wisdom, and the people he places in my life. The list is endless! But I am grateful for without all the little puzzle pieces in my life that fit neatly together – where would I be? What would I be doing?
Believe it or not once you get into a habit of thanking God, your critical mind frame, negative mouth will slowly diminish.
Am I living gratefully? Are you living gratefully?