Did you know that the word gratitude comes from the word ‘gratus’ which also gives us the word grace? I didn’t know this until recently but I know that they sure do go hand in hand. It is hard to have one without the other.
I know life can get you down. We can fall into a pit of despair and have pity party after pity party when we think of all the bad things that have happened to us. It is OK to be upset or feel sad when something bad happens. We need to feel it and get over it. We have to make the conscious choice to get over it.
If we don’t then we get stuck in the negativity of everyday life. We will start to look for things to be upset with or to complain about. Complaining to everyone who will listen helps us to feel justified in feeling the way we feel. But it also keeps us from seeing the blessings that are all around us.
So your car broke down and you were late for work because you had to wait for a tow truck. Instead of looking at it in a negative way try to be thankful, the tow truck driver is. He needed that call to pay for his daughter’s dental appointment. It is also possible that delay could’ve saved you from an accident down the road.
When we dwell on the negatives it is sinful. It is something that Satan wants to keep us from experiencing the grace of God. The bible tells us to give thanks for everything. It doesn’t say to give thanks for the things we perceive as good, or just when we get what we want. We need to give thanks even when it’s hard to understand why something has happened.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.- 1 Thessalonians 5:18
I am constantly reminding myself that I am only seeing a small part of the big plan that God has in mind for my life. Maybe, just maybe, He needs to use these inconveniences to help me change my course or to keep me from tripping and falling into sin. I always try to remember that when He says ‘No’ to something that I’ve asked for it is usually because He has something much better in store for me down the road.
Just thinking about that gets me excited! I mean most of the times I am asking for something that seems really wonderful at the moment. Yes, I feel a little disappointment when it doesn’t happen but then curiosity takes hold. I have to wonder what could possibly be better than what I had in mind? I get a little anxious but I know that God only wants the best for me and He will reveal His plan in His time. He feels the same about each of His children.
I know how hard it is to feel grateful when you are sitting on the side of the road in a car that just won’t go but try to give thanks in every situation and every circumstance that you find yourself in. So the next time you find yourself complaining or throwing a pity party try to think of something to be thankful for. It will get easier the more you do it and before you know it your whole attitude will turn around and you will be so much happier. Your eyes will be opened to the blessings of God’s grace that surround you each and every day.
When we obey our Lord then we are showing Him our gratitude for the grace He has shown to us. Just think about how you feel when someone thanks you for something that you’ve done. It pleases God the same way when we thank Him for the many ways He has blessed our lives.