Gratitude is in short supply. It’s amazing how blessed we can be, and yet, by nature, how ungrateful we are. In Luke’s Gospel we read the story of the ten lepers. As Jesus was passing through their region, they saw him and called out to him for help. In Jesus day leprosy was a death sentence. Those afflicted were plagued with oozing, putrid sores. They were exiled from society, living in colonies and required to social distance! Jesus responded by healing them all and telling them to go and show themselves to the priests. In this way they could be declared clean again. All hurried away, except for one. One of the ten, upon realizing he was healed, returned and fell at Jesus’ feet thanking and praising him. The other nine went on their way to the priests without so much as a, “hey thanks for that!” Jesus gave them hope and a future, yet only one returned to say, “thank you!” That was a big ingratitude, but what about our daily blessings…life, breath, family, friends, even the microwave and food in the fridge. It’s too easy to complain and look for what’s wrong, rather than focusing on all the good things God provides each day. Gratitude is important because its good vibes, God vibes, unlock positive values making us more generous, encouraging, and thankful.
Ps 63:4-5; 103:2-5; Pr 11:27; Ec 6:9; Lk 17:11-19; Ph 4:12-13; Js 1:17
If you search for good, you will find favor; but if you search for evil, it will find you! (Pr 11:27) Every good action and every perfect gift is from God. (Js 1:17) It is better to enjoy what our eyes see than to long for what our roving appetites desire. (Ec 6:9) I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Ph 4:12-13) Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. (Ps 103:2-5)
Here are three declarations that will change your perspective, your attitude and your direction in life. 1) Everything that is good comes from God, period! No matter how hard you have studied or worked, God has given you the opportunities, the intellect and the creativity. Every time you succeed, it’s with the gifts God has given you. You woke up this morning on God’s time. And above all, God gave you Jesus, a Savior, to forgive you, comfort you, guide you and convict you. Every good thing is from God. 2) I will not let what I want rob me of what I have. Satan wants to keep you wanting, longing for more, something bigger, better, and in the process, you miss out on the joy of what you have. Think about what you have…three meals a day, a bed to sleep in, clothes to wear, a roof over your head. Those who have a job, making even minimum wage, make almost forty times more than half of the world’s population. Look at what you have; recognize your blessings. 3) I will return every blessing I have into praise. Since every blessing is a gift from God, you should be inspired, compelled to praise and worship Him. Have you ever thought you lost something, but then you realize it’s still there? You are thankful for what you did not lose. Each day is an opportunity to be thankful for your blessings. God has filled your life with good things, don’t complain and don’t wait to be happy, be grateful! It’s not happy people who are grateful; it’s grateful people who are happy!
Are you aware each day of God’s blessings in your life? Explain. Have you ever wanted something that robbed you of your present blessings? Explain. What does “God is all you need” mean to you? What are you most thankful for? What do you long or hope for? How do you turn your blessings into praise? On a scale of 1-10 how grateful are you?
Response – Start each day this week by thanking God for 3 things he’s given you. See how your attitude improves.
Prayer – Gracious God, giver of all good things, thank you for my blessings. I praise you for who you are and for your love and goodness in my life. May your praise ever be on my lips! In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.