Hebrews 12:28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.
It’s November, the month of gratitude. What is gratitude? It’s the choice to see that we deserve no good gift, that we are not entitled to a darn thing, and that all good gifts in our iives come from the Father above. It’s about humility and an acknowledgement that apart from God, we have nothing, life means nothing and all thing are futile. Remind you of any scripture? It sure does me. It reminds me of King Solomon, who had every possible thing for which people lust, who says it is all futile. And he’s right! Fu-tile. Barf.
Gratitude means that not only do we acknowledge that all we have is from God, we also realize that no object we can possess, even given by His own hand, makes one lick of difference in the entire scheme of life. LIfe is about relationships. It’s what everyone knows in their dying days. The truly wise realize this is the case very early in their time on this planet. The cross is about relationship- our to and with God. Nothing else matters, folks! Not a darn thing!
But I digress. Gratitude. The amount of gratitude that we experience is directly proportional to the quality of our life. If you want to enjoy life, let go of your rights to it! (Oxymoron here, moron being the optimal word.) Then everything becomes a gift! And when life is a gift, we are happy campers. Don’t have to look much farther than Christmas morning and children finding new bikes, new games, new iPods for goodness sakes.
If we are entitled, nothing is a gift. And we are some depressed and unfulfilled folks. It’s a requirement that we have what we think we deserve so the only place we have to go is to disappointment and frustration and even anger that we have not received those things we assume should be ours. Joy is elusive in this place. Can you name three people in your life who are sour folks with sour attitudes? How much do you want to bet me that they have little gratitude at their core? It’s a very sad, sad thing.
At the same time, if we understand our position and our feet are firmly on the ground and our heads are bowed in gratefulness to the Creator, then the only place we have to go is to the place of joy that says thank you, Lord, for everything you have given me!
So, cost benefit analysis here. Lack of gratitude brings less peace and less joy. Gratitude brings peace and a joy for life. And folks, it IS a choice. It’s a decision of our will, not something inbred in us that cannot be changed. Some folks are much more predisposed to live in this place of gratitude than others are. For some of us it’s crucial to simply beg God for an attitude of gratefulness. Trust me, God WILL honor that prayer! You might be surprised how He does it, but He will do it.
Lets risk it and pray. Lets risk letting go of our rights to having anything, everything and find our way to our knees so that the quality of our life can improve and so that we could come even closer to the Father through our humbled position.
Take away: Give thanks with a grateful heart. Give thanks to the Holy One. Give thanks for He has given Jesus Christ, our Lord. The quality of our life increases with every drop of humility and gratitude that we can obtain. We are owed nothing. We deserve no good gift. It is only because the Father loves us that we have anything. This November, let’s be truly thankful for even the air that we breathe. And let’s invest sacrificially into the lives of those around us because at the end of the day, Jesus died for relationship. Relationships are the most important asset in this world.
Prayer: Dear Lord, give me a heart of gratitude and thankfulness. Remove from me any entitlements and replace them with humility. I know that when You answer this prayer, the joy and peace in my life will increase and I will be positioned to know You more. Heal my hurts and free me from any bondage that is keeping me from seeing you clearly and experiencing gratefulness for you.