What is gratitude? Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines gratitude as the feeling of being grateful and wanting to express thanks, while grateful means feeling or showing thanks because somebody has done something kind for you or has done as you asked.
How often do we remember to give thanks to God for answered prayers or seemingly ‘little’ blessings? When was the last time you spent time in God’s presence only to give Him thanks for blessings in the past, for current blessings and anticipated blessings awaiting us in the future? Do we also thank Him for those very unpleasant situations and dark moments of our lives? I know this sounds difficult and unrealistic, but hey, God commands us to give Him thanks in ALL things.
A grateful heart is something we should desperately cultivate in our lives, homes and society at large because it goes along with a deluge of blessings and on the flip side a lack of it goes with dire consequences. We are quick to forget so many requests which we brought to God that He turned into awesome testimonies. How about the miracle of sleeping and waking up? How about having a variety of foods to pick from or even having food at all? Have you forgotten that it is because your eyes can see that you are able to read this post? Did you pay God to have all your nerves, cells, tissues, organs, and systems function perfectly? How about the fact that you don’t sleep on the street, you have a beautiful roof over your head? Don’t you feel blessed that you are not chained in a remand home due to insanity or in police custody, implicated in a crime that you know nothing about? How about a job you desperately prayed for which you got miraculously? Aren’t you privileged to have family and friends who genuinely love you? Don’t you feel blessed that you are not living at the mercy of any man, but the Almighty God who loves you more than anyone else could ever love you? Are you grateful for your beautiful dentition? Or the fact that your fingers can handle, your ears can hear, you can go to the bathroom without aid and that you aren’t deformed in any way? Do you appreciate God for your peaceful neighbourhood?
Grateful people are optimistic, happy and content people. They emit positive energy wherever they are. They always hope for the best, expect the best and often receive the best. You hardly see them grumble, rather you see them appreciating the little they have and they end up with much more. A grateful person has no room in her heart for bitterness or discontent because she tends to see God’s Hand in every event of her life. She is often pumped with a lot of energy that gives her the drive to go all out to achieve her goals regardless of any limitation. Are you grateful?
Grateful people are humble people. These are people who acknowledge God as the Giver and Keeper of all blessings. They never take pride in their accomplishments as though they achieved it all by themselves. A grateful lady reverences God and appreciates every act of His kindness regardless of how seemingly ‘little’. Rather, they always ascribe to God all the Glory and see Him as the Only Source of all their achievements. As a result, their cups of blessings always overflow. Are you grateful?
Grateful people have full hearts. A grateful lady has a sense of fullness regardless of how ‘little’ she has, while an ungrateful lady experiences a gnawing sense of emptiness regardless of how ‘much’ she may have. Gratitude forces you look inwards to appreciate God for His countless blessings in your life which you received only by God’s enduring mercy and not because you deserved it. Gratitude reminds you of God’s faithfulness in the past which boosts your faith to trust Him for far greater things to come.
Grateful people have clear perspectives on issues that cause confusion and aggravation to ungrateful people. A grateful lady will rather ‘light a candle than curse the darkness’. She hardly has time to ‘cry over spilled milk’. Rather, she is quick to proffer solutions to problems than ruminate, murmur and grumble over a situation that is beyond her control. A wise man once said ‘be thankful that thorns have roses rather than complain that roses have thorns’. Another wise man opined that ‘a fool is someone who is not grateful’. Are you grateful?
Gratitude gives you inner strength to go after your dreams. It makes you see difficult things as mere stepping stones to greater heights and makes your thoughts crystal clear. Gratitude opens with ease doors of opportunities which remains shut to ungrateful people. It attracts uncommon favours which remains elusive to ungrateful people. Gratitude is a command from God, which attracts tremendous blessings. It gives us the privilege of being in close proximity to God, which has the added advantage of enjoying His redeeming power and relishing the immense blessings that emanate from His Glorious Presence. Gratitude draws us close to God. God did not ask us to thank Him only when things are rosy and smooth sailing; rather He said we should give thanks in all things. We are always better for it. Your gratitude in seemingly ‘unpleasant’ situations moves God to act on your behalf. I encourage us to increase our gratitude-quotient by 100%. I bet that you will see things turn around in your favour. In addition, it will lighten your heart and give you all-round peace that you so much deserve.