It was raining, and a young mom was on her way to run errands with two toddlers in-tow. As she drove, she prayed, “God, please provide a parking space close to the door.” On her second pass around the full parking lot, she made her request again, “God, please, it’s raining – give me a space by the door!” Just then, car pulled out right next to the door. Promptly, she said, “Never mind God, I found one.”
Isn’t that like us? When God is unperceived from our perspective, we consider him inactive. Maybe we struggle with gratitude because God isn’t working the way we want or expect. Often, God’s will unfolds very differently than we expect, and we miss what He’s doing in our lives.
There are three reasons why gratitude so important:
- Gratitude – a thankful heart – is God’s will for your life. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT) Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
- Gratitude fuels our faith – remembering what God has done in the past, stabilizes you in the present, and shapes you for the future. Psalm 103:1-2 (NLT) 1 Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. 2 Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.
- Ingratitude brings confusion and destroys faith. Romans 1:21 (NLT) Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused.
How might you clearly identify and express what God has done for you this Thanksgiving season? Richard Foster offers this prayer: “Almighty, most holy, most high God, thank you for paying attention to small things. Thank you for valuing the insignificant. Thank you for being interested in the lilies of the field and the birds of the air. Thank you for caring about me.”