WEDNESDAY IN THE WORD November 15, 2023
“GRATITUDE CHANGES EVERYTHING”
1 THESSALONIANS 5:18 NIV
As the Thanksgiving Day celebration is just around the corner, I’m sure we’ve all been thinking a lot about Gratitude lately. What is it? When should we show it? What does God say about it? These are simple yet profound questions that we should ask more often.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “Give thanks in all circumstances” (I Thessalonians 5:18). Now most of us reading this particular verse thinks it’s a nice thought, but in reality most of us are thankful for very little. Notice that the Bible does not command us to feel thankful in all circumstances. Instead, it commands us to “Give thanks in all circumstances.”
When we begin to praise God in difficult situations, even if we don’t feel like it, many times the scales fall from our eyes and we begin to see glimpses of his glory, sprinkled on the dark backdrop of the situation like diamonds, thereby sparkling in an unexpected blessing in disguise. Humanly speaking, we only look at our situation from a “why me point of view.” Most of the times we don’t see glory in tragedy, but we can still praise God because we know that he’s right there with us as we go through it.
Gratitude is powerful because it changes the lens through which we see the circumstances in our little slice of time and place. Thanksgiving changes our perspective despite our broken dreams, broken relationships, tumultuous trials and unfulfilled longings. On many occasions in the Psalms, David complained about his circumstances. More often than not about midway through his laments, he begins praising God for who he is and thanking him for what he has done. All of a sudden David starts feeling better. His problems grow small as his perspective of God grows larger. Why? David begins to see God’s glory shining through the situation.
This is a perfect example for us to follow. As we praise God for who he is and thank him for what he’s done, our perspective of him grows larger and our problem grows smaller. As a result, we will experience a deeper sense of intimacy with God as the emotional gap between what we know to be true and how we are feeling as the moment closes.
When we stop complaining and grumbling and choose to begin speaking God’s love language of gratitude, everything changes. The change in our perspective allows us to begin seeing moments of sudden glory through the lens of praise and thanksgiving by trusting in the “Goodness of God.” So let us not focus on gratitude around Thanksgiving time, but be seeking to be grateful every minute of our lives. God is worthy of our praise and gratitude. Amen!
Pastor Andrea (Andie)