“Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High.” ~ Psalm 50:14
Thanksgiving is the origin point for all worship. In fact, without gratitude, your heart will not connect with the Lord in worship because worship is, first and foremost, a heart condition. In Psalm 50:23 the Lord said, “But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.” A heart that is filled with thanks for what the Lord has done is ready to enter into His presence because praise is what paves the way into His courts. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name.” (Psalm 100:4)
We need to practice gratitude as often as we can. When you make up your mind to see the blessings in your life, no matter how small, something will shift in your thinking and emotions. You will experience more peace, more contentment when you choose to see what you have versus what you don’t have and seeing God’s hand behind the blessings in your life. You will know how to recognize God’s presence through gratitude.
We have so much to be grateful for in our lives. We serve a good and loving God who knows how to give good things to His children: “So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” (Matthew 7:11) Practicing gratitude to God becomes a powerful way for us to live. Our hearts become glad when we are grateful to God. We affirm the good in our lives and recognize that the source of this goodness is from God.
We should count our blessings each day. Set aside time regularly to be quiet, to reflect and thank God for what He has done. From the moment we awake to the moment we fall into bed, we often go at full speed and never slow down. If we schedule some time every day in which we can be quiet and reflect, we will allow ourselves a break from our fast-paced lives. In the first moments of the day, when we feel most focused, before the work of the day takes over, take some time to think about what God has done for you, and thank Him and to seek His presence.
When the apostle Paul describes what being filled with the Spirit looks like, he doesn’t point to ecstatic experiences or miraculous spiritual gifts — he points to thankfulness. He says:“be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:18–20, NIV)
Practicing gratitude to God becomes a powerful way for us to live. Our hearts become glad when we are grateful to God. We affirm the good in our lives and recognize that the source of this goodness is from God.
- How is your dependence on God connected to gratitude?
- Why is thankfulness an important part of the Christian life? In what ways do you give thanks on a regular basis in your life?