Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:16
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
When looking at the definition of the word gratitude, one will discover it is defined as thankful and grateful. But have you ever thought about the fact that grateful and thankful are different?
At Thanksgiving, we often hear of families sitting around the table sharing what they are thankful for. We may be thankful for our health, a family member coming home for the holidays, or the fact that you are going to eat really well as soon as all the thankfulness ends! It is probably pretty easy to find something to be thankful for in that warm and fuzzy holiday moment.
Being grateful, on the other hand, is an action. Even though we need the feeling of thankfulness to initiate gratitude, there is more to the story. Gratitude involves living a life of thankfulness. A choice. Despite our situation, we choose to be thankful in all things. I acknowledge it isn’t always Thanksgiving and sometimes it is hard to find anything to be grateful for, especially when we are suffering. But there is one thing that we can be grateful for every day: we have been given the gift of forgiveness by the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. We are given eternal life when we accept who Jesus is and seek His forgiveness of our sins. From that moment, we have hope. Our circumstances may be difficult – in fact they may be downright hard – but God is right there beside us promising to never leave. You may think, well of course I am thankful to God, but have you considered practicing it out loud? The more we practice thanking God, the more we start to discover more things to be thankful for and our focus shifts away from our circumstances. Let’s make an effort in our daily routine to have an attitude of gratitude!