Greater Gratitude

Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year. This time of year always brings me a sense of love, pride, thankfulness, and humility. I always make sure to spend time remembering and thanking the Lord for all that He has done for me in the past year (1 Chronicles 16:11-12). At one time, our own government took it upon themselves to do the same.

"Whereas it becomes us humbly to approach the throne of Almighty God, with gratitude and praise for the wonders which his goodness has wrought in conducting our forefathers to this western world..." (United States Congress, 1779)

Looking back upon the previous year has always provided me a sense of gratefulness to God for all He has done for me. But this is what I must always remember: never to neglect my gratitude towards the Lord during times of difficulty and long-suffering. How often do we thank Him for what a particular trial will bring? Do we find ourselves giving thanks to God during the tough times? Do we thank Him amidst the storms of life while we’re going through them? Typically not. We tend to think only of ourselves (Matthew 8:23-27). We set aside special events or holidays and take one day to thank our Creator for His unwavering faithfulness and mercies (Lamentations 3:22-23). What are we doing the rest of the year? 

My challenge to us all is that we continually spend time in reflection on what the Lord has done for us, both personally and as a church family. As we consider what we’re called to give, let’s remember what we’ve been given. He has provided so much for us, and promises to do so, as long as we seek Him diligently (Matthew 6:33, Romans 8:31-39). May we seek to live for Him 365 days a year, not just during the holiday season. We belong to and serve an amazing, awe-inspiring God. Let’s live every day with that in mind. Let’s make a Greater Impact!

As you come to the Lord in prayer, consider:

1.   What are some specific ways you seek Jesus daily?

2.   What are you going to do to start seeking and giving to the Lord, as opposed to sitting back expecting Him to bless you?

3.   In order to develop an attitude of gratitude amidst the challenges of life, what do you need to eliminate from your line of sight that’s causing you to miss the big picture?

-Pastor Cameron Stevens