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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Byers


Updated: Oct 13, 2021

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of his benefits!” PS. 103:2

Recently I wrote a blog about giving thanks and I find my heart turning again to this topic. Gratitude is a deep appreciation, an overflowing response for all his kindnesses toward us, especially our salvation. Gratitude continually says “yes” to a loving Father.

In our cultural climate there is much commotion but in the deep place when our hearts are full of gratitude, commotion becomes more distant and indistinct. When we give thanks in everything, clarity comes and we find God moved by our gratefulness.

Practicing gratefulness welcomes more abundant grace and more inspiration. Gratitude opens us to receive what God is offering. “Praise purifies the heart and prepares it marvelously to receive divine grace and the motions of the Holy Spirit” (In the School of the Holy Spirit, Fr. Jacques Philippe, p. 29). We touch God’s heart by boundlessly thanking him not only for every provision, but for every way he moves in our lives, thus drawing more from him.

Since we have received a different kingdom, an unshakeable one …“let us have gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe” (Heb. 12:28). Gratitude is our acceptable service to a loving Father. Jesus did this just before he offered himself for death…that last night, knowing what he was about to face, He broke bread and gave thanks.

Practicing gratitude is a habit, a developed discipline; just being thankful for every little thing, refusing to blame and whine when things don’t go the way we hoped. The alternative is complaint, bitterness, hopelessness, entitlement, pride. But gratitude guards our hearts and keeps us in humility as receivers of his good things and his abundant grace. What begins as an active discipline becomes our delight as we truly see who He is! And it is a harbinger of hope and joy. Gratitude opens our senses to recognize and take in the “…smallest and most obscure as well as the most panoramic displays of beauty. Gratitude brings an imminent passion to all endeavors of life” (Leading with a Limp, Dan Allender p. 146).

We begin where we are now, giving thanks, and his grace comes. We don’t know how he is going to work things out, but we can stay grateful, knowing he is always at work in his good and mysterious ways. “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, rejoice!”

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