The Attitude of Gratitude
Gratitude is not a natural habit of the flesh. More often than not, mankind is upset for what lacks rather than grateful for what is possessed. Ingratitude easily flows from the heart of man, making him blind to blessings and keenly aware of any malediction. Often our hearts possess the frustrated retort, ‘thanks for nothing’.
Followers of Christ know thankfulness is a part of walking by faith, but knowing this doesn’t make it easy to be thankful. So, how do we grow in gratitude? There are two interrelated ways. First is to apprehend the grace of God. The second is prayerfully recount your thankfulness.
Apprehending God grace is to receive it and understand the gift given. God’s grace extending to more and more becomes the source of faith-filled gratitude. “For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:15, ESV) Thankfulness for blessings rather than ingratitude for what lacks can only come as Christians reckon the grace of God.
An important part of recognizing such blessing comes through praying as the Word of God leads. Gratitude often comes upon rehearsing what is good, and rejoice in what is possessed. Take the time to read Psalm 73 and you’ll see this pattern of thought from the Psalmist.
Thanksgiving or gratitude is a significant aspect of prayer. “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 4:2, ESV); “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6, ESV) Prayer and supplication is to be made with thanksgiving. And it becomes the mechanism to apprehend God’s grace and recount what your gratitude.
Gratitude is to be the seasoning that flavors our lives, prayers, and relationships. The aspects of prayer that are a matter of more than simple requests. Our requests are to be given with thanksgiving… abounding in thanksgiving. By God’s grace may we abound in thanksgiving and rejoice in God’s grace.