We are admonished repeatedly in scripture to give thanks to God. Here are a just a few of those examples:
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his faithful love endures forever. (Psalm 107:1, CSB)
Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:16-17, CSB)
give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18, CSB)
In fact, thanksgiving to God ought to be our response to Him for His goodness and grace in our lives. What I’m saying is that as a believer in Jesus Christ, we ought to always have an attitude of gratitude toward God because of all that He’s done for us and what He’s accomplished in and through our lives.
But what if we don’t have a thankful heart and this attitude of gratitude? How do we cultivate it in our lives if it’s missing?
The first step to cultivating a thankful heart is to remember all the good things God has blessed you with! Begin with the things you often take for granted, the air we breathe, the sunshine that warms us, the cool breeze that refreshes us. God’s daily provision of food, clothing, and shelter. Maybe it’s the blessing of a godly spouse, a loving family, children or even grandchildren. All of these are blessings from the Lord. Remember all of the things you have been blessed with!
In addition, if you are a Christ follower, you have been blessed with vast spiritual wealth in Christ. The apostle Paul shares some amazing truths with us in Ephesians 1:3-14;
Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ. For he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before him. He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he lavished on us in the Beloved One.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he richly poured out on us with all wisdom and understanding. He made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he purposed in Christ as a plan for the right time—to bring everything together in Christ, both things in heaven and things on earth in him.
In him we have also received an inheritance, because we were predestined according to the plan of the one who works out everything in agreement with the purpose of his will, so that we who had already put our hope in Christ might bring praise to his glory.
In him you also were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed. The Holy Spirit is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of the possession, to the praise of his glory.
If we want to cultivate an attitude of gratitude, we must remember all we’ve been blessed with, but we must also acknowledge the sin of not being thankful to God for the blessings He pours out on us.
Look at what the apostle John says:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9, CSB)
Look also at what Solomon says in the book of Proverbs:
The one who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy. (Proverbs 28:13, CSB)
We must be quick to repent of any sin in our life, especially the sin of ungratefulness to God, if we want to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
Finally, to cultivate an attitude of gratitude in our lives, we have to begin to once again count our blessings, seeing every good gift as coming from God!
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17, CSB)
My prayer for you is that as we approach Thanksgiving, we will reflect upon the many blessings God has lavished on us and then take time to thank Him for these blessings in our lives.