Whispersfrommyheart's Blog

An Attitude of Gratitude

Posted on: November 5, 2012

Thanksgiving brings about cherished memories of families and friends gathered together to celebrate the day set aside to give thanks.  Taste buds are tempted as the smell of turkey fills the kitchen, and stomachs growl in anticipation of the savory treats usually reserved for special occasions.    Relatives arrive with hugs, kisses, and cheek pinches, and happy hearts begin to catch up on each others lives.  No Thanksgiving Day is complete without the laughter shared around the table, and words of thanks each grateful heart gives.

When you think about Thanksgiving, the images I described above enter your mind.   But, as I pondered this topic, I began to wonder what thanksgiving really means.  As I searched my memory, I thought about the birth of my children, but had difficulty finding more expressions of gratitude.  On the way to Church, I asked God why I was having so much trouble coming up with a story on thanksgiving, and I am ashamed to admit what I discovered;  a prevailing attitude of a lack of gratitude.

An attitude of thanksgiving should be the one thing every Christians possess, in spite of their circumstances in this life.  So, as I continued to ponder the meaning of thanksgiving, I had to look at what it means to be thankful.

The “Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary” defines thankful as…

1 : conscious of benefit received

2 : expressive of thanks

3 : well pleased : GLAD

1.         Because of our inability to be pure and holy, in and of ourselves, we deserve death.  Instead, we have a Redeemer, who took our place; took our punishment upon Himself, and spilled His own Blood for our sakes.  It is only because of what Jesus Christ did that we stand before God, holy and without blame.   Are we truly conscious of the benefits we have received through Jesus Christ, the One who gave His all for us?

2.         Matthew 7:11-17 tells about 10 lepers who wanted to be healed.  Jesus told them to go show themselves to the priest, and along their way, they were healed.  Yet only one, when he saw he was healed, returned to express thanksgiving.

Are we just as guilty of failing to express our thanks as the other nine?  Our gratitude is represented by the attitudes of our hearts.  Our outward actions demonstrate the inner intentions, thus signifying to God what we hold inside.

King David prayed in Psalm 139:23-24,   Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting. (NKJ)

3.         Satisfied, happy, content, joyful, cheerful, and delighted.  Do any of those words describe your attitude?  Sadly, as long as things are going fine, they described mine, but…

I noticed when the pressure is on, and the stress is mounting, I lost that joyful, contented, and satisfied feeling in my heart.  My first thoughts always seem to be “Why do I always have to struggle through things?”

I came across Isaiah 30: 20-21 just the other day.  Needless to say, it hit me right between the eyes.   “Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (NKJ)

Okay, so adversity and afflictions are teachers?  What have I learned from them?  Apparently not enough, as I continue to meet with them; part of my lessons from adversity, and afflictions have shown me what I am lacking in my heart.  The attitude of gratitude for what my Lord has done for me. I had been so busy keeping track of what was wrong, I had allowed circumstances to rule the attitude of my heart. Isn’t that why God allows adversity?  To teach us?

As we think on thanksgiving, we can remember the joyful times of gathering with family and friends, but let each one of us check the attitude of our heart.  Are we expressing a grateful heart with the intent of offering thanksgiving to God?  If not, we can pray as King David did, “Search me O God and know my heart.

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