Gratitude is an attitude of being thankful for what He has done for me! When we fully recognize that our greatest problem has been solved, our indebtedness of sin. We can feel and know gratitude and thus honor God by leading a life of response to Who He is. This is an aspect of worship, expressing to God and others, how they have benefited our lives by showing them support, appreciation and benevolence. Because His blood has redeemed us, we are grateful!
“Then Jacob became angry and contended with Laban; and Jacob said to Laban, “What is my transgression? What is my sin that you have hotly pursued me? Though you have felt through all my goods, what have you found of all your household goods? Set it here before my kinsmen and your kinsmen, that they may decide between us two. These twenty years I have been with you; your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten the rams of your flocks. That which was torn of beasts I did not bring to you; I bore the loss of it myself. You required it of my hand whether stolen by day or stolen by night. Thus I was: by day the heat consumed me and the frost by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes. These twenty years I have been in your house; I served you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flock, and you changed my wages ten times. If the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had not been for me, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God has seen my affliction and the toil of my hands, so He rendered judgment last night.” Gen. 31:36-42
“Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel journeyed by stages from the wilderness of Sin, according to the command of the Lord, and camped at Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water that we may drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” But the people thirsted there for water; and they grumbled against Moses and said, “Why, now, have you brought us up from Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, “What shall I do to this people? A little more and they will stone me.” Exodus 17:1-4
“While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed. Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they? Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:11-19
“For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” 1 Corinthians 4:7
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me.” Philippians 1:3-7
“in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Ingratitude and disapproval are the opposites. This means the refusal to acknowledge and respond to what Yeshua has done for us. This can be a Christian who does little to nothing with their faith and remains in the ways of the world, or just refusing to grow and respond to God. We have been saved by Grace. No work is required from us, so, nothing is needed by us to earn our place in eternity. We have no obligation to respond; however, when we do become Christians by faith alone, a natural response will take place, as depicted in the “Fruits of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22-23), that show our faith to be real and impacting.
The main thrust for our fruits and character development is the ability to see what we have in Yeshua, so we show ourselves thankful. This thankfulness is what motivates us to follow His teachings and precepts in all aspects of our lives and for them to spill out upon those around us. Although gratitude can mean responding to a favor we have received or possessing thankfulness, it is a much deeper response. David was a man after God’s own heart, and his heart was full of praise to God, even in times of dire stress. He knew what God has done for him. He was the least in his family, and his family the least in his tribe, yet he was chosen to be king. It was something he did not earn or deserve, and even when he sinned, he saw God’s Grace restore him (Psalm 34:1; 107:15).
As a Christian, we must strive to be more thankful to Him and do our utmost to live up to the call given to us in Heb 13:15, “By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” We need to have the mindset that we are merely sojourners here on this earth, that is we are just passing through, preparing ourselves for our true home in heaven. The result will be a life filled with praise to God, as we will see Him, and not just our circumstances. Perhaps we will then be able to appreciate His goodness to us and have even more praise to and for His name. This praise will overflow to others instead of the rotten fruits of Gal 5: 19-21! Let our worship be true because of what He has done for us! Let us give our loud expression to Him! Praise God forever and ever (Psalm 150)! God’s plan for us is not just our salvation; it is our growth, too. Do not neglect your growth in Him!
- How would you define Gratitude? Are you a person who dispenses Gratitude?
- What are the things that cause you to have ingratitude?
- How does the lack of Gratitude counteract Gratitude?
- What happens to our relationship, with God, and others, when we are disapproving, un-appreciating, and negative with others?
- When have you been filled with Gratitude the most?
- In what situation did you fail to have Gratitude, when you should have?
- What issue is in your life that would improve with being more Grateful?
- Think through the steps you need to take to put Gratitude into action in a specific instance. Such as, how would Gratitude improve your worship of our Lord? What do you need to do to realize, to the fullest extent possible, how indebted you are to Yeshua for your salvation? In addition, because of that, what should be your response to Him and to others around you?
© Richard .J. Krejcir Ph.D. 2002 Into Thy Word Ministries www.discipleshiptools.org