Throughout the week, I participate in Bible studies provided by Dr. David Jeremiah with a recent one involving “gratitude.” The Oxford dictionary defines gratitude as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” Jeremiah emphasizes the value of recognizing the importance of people around us, our personal qualities and qualities of our Heavenly Father, and expressing gratitude regarding each of these three areas.
There are many ways we can express gratitude towards people around us: tell someone you love them and how much you appreciate them; smile more often; tell someone “thank you” and how much you appreciate them; don’t complain; volunteer in your community; show respect for those around you; do something positive for the wellbeing of others. The important message here is this: demonstrate kindness to others!
Looking within ourselves and recognizing our positive qualities may be hard for some people. Sometimes, though, it is good to practice this degree of introspection and understand the positive qualities we possess. As we recognize our good qualities, it is good to demonstrate self-gratitude (thankfulness) regarding the positive attributes possessed and how we can extend them towards others.
When thinking of God, there is much for which to be thankful. The Holy Spirit, a manifestation of God, is something that dwells within Christians. The fruit (qualities) of the Holy Spirit that I am thankful for include the following: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23/ESV). Extending these qualities to others is a way of demonstrating appreciation and kindness.
Important Bible verses reflecting gratitude towards God would be:
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thes. 5:18/ESV)
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps. 118:24/ESV)
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful” (Col. 3:15/ESV)
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever” (Ps. 107:1/ESV)
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him” (Ps. 28:7/ESV).
As you move forward in life, be encouraged to seek out opportunities to demonstrate gratitude towards others. Many blessings to you!
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“God never leaves you nor forsakes you.” I’ve heard that before. “Jesus will leave the 99 to come after you.” I’ve heard that one too. Meanwhile, fear creeps up when life hurls a season of loneliness our way, and poof! Churchy sayings hold as much weight as thin air. Believe it or not, God is cheering us on and inviting us to thrive amidst the loneliness. Yes, it’s weird and scary, but this emptiness is a safe space where you get to hear the God of everything speak the loudest. You’re safe because God is so good at owning goodness amidst our dank, confused, lonely seasons, and because of Him, you aren’t so by yourself.”