In this episode Saso and Ben talk about the topic of gratitude. Below are some notes and thoughts directly derived from this episode. Enjoy!
GRAT’ITUDE, noun [Latin gratitudo, from gratus, pleasing. See Grace.]
An emotion of the heart, excited by a favor or benefit received; a sentiment of kindness or good will towards a benefactor; thankfulness. gratitude is an agreeable emotion, consisting in or accompanied with good will to a benefactor, and a disposition to make a suitable return of benefits or services, or when no return can be made, with a desire to see the benefactor prosperous and happy. gratitude is a virtue of the highest excellence, as it implies a feeling and generous heart, and a proper sense of duty.
The love of God is the sublimest(supreme) gratitude1828 Webster’s Dictionary
It seems that we say thank you or thanks quite often, but do we really mean it. Are we really thankful?
Have we become calloused to the point that we mindlessly say these words?
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
There are times in life where it does not seem appropriate to thank God, but we must recognize God’s sovereignty and realize He allows all things in our life for His purpose and pleasure.
As believers, we should have a heart of gratitude overflowing from what has been done in our life.
He is the rock of our salvation, the rock in which we should praise and be thankful for.
2 Corinthians 9:15
Honestly, we should be speechless when it comes to the gift of salvation (see episode 10). Maybe because it is unspeakable we feel like we should be silent but it should make us a thankful people.
But to whom are you thankful?
A lot of people say things like “thank goodness”, or say “I’m thankful for…xyz”. But it’s not often that I hear people giving God thanks. After all, when you give thanks, you are giving or directing your thanks at someone, but whom is that someone? Around this time of year, there will be millions of Americans talking about the things they are thankful for, but you likely won’t hear “to whom” they are thankful.
It is God who showers us with love and blessing. It is God to whom we should be thankful to.
We read in the book of Luke a story of Jesus who ran into 10 lepers. They cried out to Jesus for mercy and Jesus healed them.
Only one thanked Jesus and he was a Samaritan which meant that culturally he wouldn’t have had any dealings with Jesus. Then in the next 2 verses we see Jesus response.
How we cry out to God to have mercy on us when we receive Him, but how soon we forget to thank Him.
Where do you line up with the lepers?
Are you the one or are you the nine?
After all, we should be thankful to God for everything. The bible tells us that God gives us EVERY good gift.
Our natural response should be to give God thanks in everything.
In the Psalms you will find King David giving God thanks for His mercies and deliverance.
We read in Job how Job experienced tragic loss. He lost all his possessions and more importantly he lost his entire family. If that wasn’t bad enough, Job lost he health too. But lets read Jobs response.
This is 1 These 5:18 in action. He is giving God thanks and praise in his current circumstance.
Christian how do you respond when you are in a trial or what seems to be a bad circumstance?
1 Peter 1:6-7
We should always give thanks regardless of the circumstances we are in. The bible doesn’t say to be thankful for our circumstance, it says to be thankful in our circumstance. Thats a big difference.
What are you thankful for?
Are you saved? Are you born again? Life not what you thought it would be?
It seems in life people may have an evil plot against us and sometimes that is true, but we must realize God has allowed that, and He sometimes means those things for good. Joseph saved many lives, but one would argue that it came at a price for Him personally.
The great expense it was for Him but oh that we would be the righteous of God in Him as told in II Corinthians 05:21.
The Psalms of thanks
We must be sincere in our thanks and not simply be doing out of duty but meaning it from the bottom of our heart as He already know what is in our heart? Do you praise Him with your whole heart or do you hold back because you feel you deserve more?
What has He done for you in your life? Has He been good to you? Does He satisfy your hungry soul with His goodness? God help us!
David was being chased and sought after but he praised the LORD according to His righteousness and sang praises to the One who is most high. Glory!
It would do us well to bring praise to Him instead of complaining of what the day may bring. It’s hard to complain when you start praising Him.
In moments of great sorrow and heartache we often don’t know where to turn or who to trust but our God is our strength and our shield. In the cry of sorrow our heart can rejoice in Him with song as He can be trusted and depended on.
We often fail people in their greatest times of need but our God is faithful always! Oh, how we should praise Him.
What gives us ingratitude or causes us to be unthankful?
There are a couple things that can cause ingratitude.
- Pride – Do you think that the 9 unthankful lepers that Jesus healed were to proud to give thanks? It’s interesting that the only one that returned was the Samaritan. It’s almost as the others had a sense of entitlement because they were Jews. Pride will always be a hinderance to gratitude. It’s because we want to think that we’ve achieved something, or that we are the ones that made it happen. Scripture clearly tells us that, with God anything is possible, it doesn’t say with man anything is possible. We recorded an episode solely on the topic of Humility which is Episode 4, please go back and listen if you’ve not listened yet.
- Discontentment – It’s fascinating that as Americans we are the most blessed country on this planet yet it seems as if we are the most discontent. A lot of it is because we’ve morphed into this entitlement culture. I deserve this thing because of who I am. And if I don’t get what I want, then I have the right to be discontent or to be upset and angry.
Another huge reason for discontentment is coveting. In Exodus, we read the 10 commandments and God doesn’t just tell you not to covet, He gives us some pointed examples. Why, because God knows our wicked hearts.
It’s having a strong desire for something that God has forbidden. Coveting can cause us to be jealous and envious of our brothers or sisters in the faith.
We have this ridiculous tendency to compare ourselves with one another and if that person has “1-uped” you, then the coveting begins which can lead to sins of the heart. For example if you covet your neighbors wife, Jesus told us in the book of Matthew to look on a woman and lust is adultery.
Coveting can even lead to outward sins. Let’s say you covet your neighbors new fancy car. In your mind, you think to yourself. He doesn’t even deserve it. Well you know you can’t steal it, but you go and you key the car. This exact thing happened to me in high school by the way.
One reason our culture today is so covetous is due to social media. We look at those vacation pictures or maybe it’s a picture of someones spouse or maybe its the new car your friend bought, or the new house that your family member purchased or maybe it’s a picture of yoru best friend with a different friend. Or how about this one…someone else got more likes, hearts, or thumbs up on their post. As a result, we covet, we lust, we get angry, we get prideful, we get jealous and envious. We will even go as far as to resent the person as if they didn’t have the right to have something that you don’t have. Christian, please be careful with social media.
Coveting leads to discontentment which is just an open door to more sin. In reality, coveting is dissatisfaction with what God has given to us.
A heart of gratitude
1 Chronicles 29:10-13
David was beckoning the people as Solomon was going to build a temple for God. David spoke of the goodness of God, so how are you doing in that department? Do people ever hear you speak of the goodness of God or do they hear always complaining? Do you thank Him and praise His glorious name
Is your nose too big? Do you not like the mole on your face? Wanted blue eyes and got brown? Wanted to have long flowing hair but God gave you short, coarse hair? Do you praise Him or do you complain to Him and others how you look?
What can we do to change our attitudes?
Are we conditioned to always see the worst in everything & everyone? For starters we need to be looking for the good. God is so good, and he has given us so much. He has given us eternal life through His Son. That alone is beyond any riches that one could achieve. The bible tells us to take up our cross daily and follow Him. I think we need to remember the cross daily so that we can be thankful for the most precious gift we’ve received.
On top of that we have our daily bread that God gives. He gives us new mercies everyday. We are blessed with so many people and so many things, God truly is a giver of good gifts.
Another thing we should do is pray. You can use the acrostic of P.R.A.Y. – Praise Repent Ask and Yield. The first one on the list is to praise. We should offer praise and thanks. Sometimes I feel like we jump in to our prayer immediately asking for something. We’ve not even acknowledged that God has given and granted us great blessings.
It’s sort of like that guy that will greet you and then immediately get down to business without even asking how you are doing. It’s just a small gesture that shows you care. I realize that not every prayer is some long elaborate, well thought out Psalm, but I feel as we should always thank God for He is so good.
Part of praising God is to acknowledge Him and His works so that God gets the glory. This shows God that our hearts are thankful because we are praising him and exalting His name.
Do you trust in Him?
Does this world have you worried as we seen 2020 come to close?
Who is your fortress?
Who will you trust in today?
When others behave badly to us, it should only stir us up the more heartily to give thanks unto the Lord, because He is good; and when we ourselves are conscious that we are far from being good, we should only the more reverently bless Him that He is good. We must never tolerate an instant’s unbelief as to the goodness of the Lord; whatever may be questioned, this is absolutely certain, that Jehovah is good; His dispensations may vary, but His nature is always the same.C.H. Spurgeon
Do you see God as good in your life?
Do you realize how good your God is?
Are you truly thankful to God for all that He has done for you?
Do you count your blessings?
Is God truly good?
Do you believe that?
Do you tell Him?
May we have an attitude of gratitude and may we not relinquish it to one day where we seem to be more thankful for the turkey than we are for anything else.