/ Wednesday, October 30, 2019
"I’m thanking you, God, from a full heart, I’m writing the book on your wonders. I’m whistling, laughing, and jumping for joy; I’m singing your song, High God." Psalm 9:1 (The Message)
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. Psalm 9:1 (ESV)
We have so much to be grateful for! Over and over in the Bible, we are called to give thanks to God for all he has done for us, to live in a stance of gratitude, and then, out of that gratitude, to proclaim what God has done and is doing!
3 Gospel Truths that Inspire Gratitude
Here are 3 truths from the gospel that inspire gratitude in me. Even though they may seem simple & straightforward, as I meditate on these ideas, my heart fills with gratitude. My hope is that as you lean into these truths, that your heart will be filled to overflowing.
1. God Created Everything (including You)
God created the heavens and the earth, and everything in them. (Genesis 1&2) And we also know that God knit us together in the wombs of our mothers, creating our inmost beings. (Psalm 139)
As you look around, and go throughout your day, brag about God! Praise Him for his creativity and his power! Tell of the wonderful things he has created; tell yourself, your family, and the people around you about our Creator God.
Imagine the conversations: “Isn’t is so neat that God made…?” and “Wow, our God is an artist, I love how he made…”
Thank you, God, for your creativity & imagination. You are a wonderful Creator God. I am amazed by your power! Thank you for creating [something you are thankful He made]!
Thank you, God for making me! You designed me and knew me before I was even born.
2. God Pursues Us & Desires a Relationship with Us
Before sin entered the world, God walked with Adam & Eve in the Garden. In the Old Testament, he dwelled in a tent with his people.
Eventually, Jesus left heaven to pursue & rescue his people. He is Emmanuel, God with Us.
Before Jesus went back to heaven, he told his followers that he was going to prepare a place, and that he would “come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am”. John 14:3
Our God is a not a distant God, or even a God who waits for us to pursue him. He is a God who pursues his people and desires a relationship with us. He wants to be with us.
Thank you that you pursue us, God. The Old Testament is full of stories of your pursuit. And ultimately, you left heaven and became a human, to pursue your people, to pursue us.
Thank you, God, that even in your pursuit of all people, that you see me & pursue me!
3. God Rescues Us
Even while our sin kept us separate from God, He provided a way for us to be reconciled to Him, through Jesus’ sacrifice. Even though we didn’t deserve it.
“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—". Colossians 1:19-21
When you mess up, instead of living in guilt, confess your sin and recognize that Jesus took that sin on himself.
Let gratitude fill you right up as you realize that you don’t have to carry the guilt and weight, and shame of that sin, but that Jesus took it for you.
And don’t stop there. Not only did Jesus take that sin away, he also gave you his righteousness – you are in right standing with God because when God looks at you, he doesn’t see you in your sin, but he sees the rightness of Jesus.
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”. 2 Corinthians 5:21
We don’t deserve this, but God’s love is so abundant & magnificent that He rescues us!
Thank you, God, for your abundant & magnificent love! Thank you that you loved us enough to send Jesus to rescue us – to make a way for us to be right with you.
Thank you, Jesus, for taking my sin and for giving me your righteousness. I do not deserve this God, but I praise you for this gift!
Responding in Gratitude
In light of these 3 gospel truths, how do we practice gratitude?
- Dwell on these truths about God. Meditate on them. Have them in your mind as you go throughout your day. Praise Him.
- Tell others about these things and about what God has done for you. Proclaim the gospel, and what Jesus has done for you.
Ask God for Help
“I’m thanking you, God, from a full heart, I’m writing the book on your wonders. I’m whistling, laughing, and jumping for joy; I’m singing your song, High God.” Psalm 9:1 (The Message)
Do these three truths from the gospel make you “whistle, laugh & jump for joy”. Does your heart leap for joy and pour out thanksgiving?
Honestly, sometimes I lose the significance of these things. I know I am created by God, that God pursues me, loves me and rescues me. But I forget. I can forget to live in gratitude.
When I know I should do something I am not, I can often be tempted to just TRY HARDER. To have the mindset, I NEED TO BE MORE THANKFUL.
But part of being a follower of Jesus, is recognizing that I cannot do it on my own.
I need Jesus.
Instead of just trying harder to be thankful, I can pray that God would grow thankfulness in my heart. That he would increase my gratitude.
The same God, who can grow love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (as the fruit of His Spirit living in us) can surely also help us to grow in obedience in the area of gratitude. He can fill our hearts with gratitude!
Want to read more about Gratitude? You can read more blog posts here.
Melissa Berry is the Digital Content Coordinator at Outreach Canada. Her favourite part of her job is getting to share stories - the stories of OC people, & the stories of how God is working! If she had a free afternoon, you'd probably find Melissa on an adventure with her husband & two children (with a chai tea in hand, of course).