Celebration of Gratitude: Simple Joy - 21 May 2019

Louise Gevers

"How good it is to give thanks to You, O LORD, to sing in Your honour, O Most High God, to proclaim Your constant love every morning and your faithfulness every night ... Your mighty deeds, O LORD make me glad; because of what You have done, I sing for joy." Psalm 92:1, 2, 4

A grateful heart is a joyful heart.

As we open our eyes in the morning we realise we’ve woken to a new dawn; the gift of a new day from our Creator in which to live, love, cry, laugh and share with others. The world around us will challenge us, and give us new opportunities to ponder, and delight in all its wonder. We need to say thank you. As we do, joy floods our hearts and we welcome the new day.

Gratitude is one of life’s simplest joys: something to practise every day; so much so, that we don’t consider our children too young to learn ‘thank you’ from the moment they can grasp something in their tiny hands. Appreciation of our blessings facilitates the development of a healthy attitude which touches the lives of others positively. When gratitude is absent, the converse happens; we take things for granted, which over time develops into an attitude of miserable entitlement.

Giving thanks is a simple way to celebrate the goodness and provision of our Heavenly Father in everything. Jesus placed a high value on this, whether eating with His disciples, or feeding a crowd. (Matthew 15:36; John 6:11; Luke 22:17,19.) What’s interesting is that after Jesus gave thanks for the seven loaves and a few small fish, they were used to feed the multitude of four thousand, with the leftovers filling up seven baskets - an inspiring example of what can happen in the lives of those who follow Jesus and live in gratitude by faith?

This was what Fanny Crosby, writer of nine thousand hymns, did. She followed Paul’s advice to, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Fanny went blind at six weeks of age through the ignorance of the doctor, but later said, “it was no mistake of God’s. I verily believe it was His intention that I should live my days in physical darkness … to be better prepared to sing His praises and incite others so to do. I could not have written thousands of hymns …”   She showed implicit faith and joy in God’s plan despite her tragic situation and gave thanks all her life. She ‘saw’ that she was, “receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken”. (Hebrews 12:28)

May we celebrate this joyfully and, “let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28-29)

Prayer: Our Father, it’s so good for us to thank You for all Your goodness and mercy to us through the Lord Jesus. Help our faith to be enough to thank You in all situations and celebrate gratitude always. Amen.

 

 

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