Yesterday in church I preached on “gratitude.” Click here to watch (if you’re into that kind of thing).
I tried to make 3 main points:
- We are blessed (Psalm 136:1) because God’s faithful love is always with us which is plenty reason enough to give thanks!
- Why should we practice gratitude? I shared a lot by Robert Emmons (click here). He has studied gratitude and found amazing physical, psychological and social benefits for those who intentionally practice gratitude. More importantly, Jesus told the man who was healed that his gratitude had “saved” him or “made him whole” (Luke 17:19).
- Give Thanks: Not for everything, but in everything! It pains me when I hear people trying to find a reason to be thankful for such awful things like illness, loss, rejection, hurt. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says that even in these situations we find gratitude, even if we aren’t thankful for the pain itself.
I talk a lot on Sunday mornings, but believe it or not there is still so much I don’t have time to say (and the people said, “for that I’m grateful!”). Yesterday, I didn’t get a chance to talk about the importance of practicing gratitude not only in the privacy of your own life, but sharing that gratitude with others.
There is a great little video I encourage you to watch (click here — sorry for some of the language!). This short video shows just how meaningful being grateful for someone and then sharing it with them can be.
I hope we can all be more grateful people, even in times where it might seem we have so little to be thankful for. When we intentionally step into a rhythm of gratitude, God mysteriously seems closer. Our lives are fuller. We are healthier, happier, more whole.
I’m with you in your pain, but even in our pain, we can lean into God’s love. As we lean further, go deeper, trust more, we begin to see that in the light and dark seasons of our lives, there is much to be grateful for.
I’ll leave you with how I began my sermon yesterday: Joni Mitchell. In the much-covered Joni Mitchell song, “Big Yellow Taxi,” she reminds us, “don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone…” Don’t wait until it’s gone (whatever “it” is for you). Give thanks today and watch how your life will be transformed.
Grace & Peace, Pastor Cole