The Healing Power of Gratitude

The Healing Power of Gratitude

Psychology Today published an article on November, 19, 2015 called, “The Healing Power of Gratitude,” by Lisa Firestone. In this article the author stated, “Gratitude is perhaps the most important key to finding success and happiness in the modern world.” This secular Thanksgiving article focused on the positive condition of our earthly existence. For the person who is walking by faith, Thanksgiving has a much deeper affect.

The focus on gratitude or thanksgiving in our culture seems to be primarily developing a focus on acknowledging what we have and remembering what we lacked in the past, which has now been supplied through our hard work and the hard work of those around us. It is a focus on gratitude for physical health, material wealth, and in a sense, the positive condition of our earthly existence. Thanksgiving is then relegated to remembering traditions and focusing on the positive in our lives.

For the believer, the practice of gratitude means all that and much more. Gratitude with God has a very healing and wholesome element. It’s not relegated to a season, but is practiced for a lifetime.

Philippians 4:6 tells us “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Gratitude becomes such an integral part of our walk with God because it illustrates our faith position in our heavenly Father. By praying and living with a gratitude, we walk in faith that God is in control of our lives. Our gratitude to God shows that we trust His sovereignty in our lives. With gratitude, we find His peace for the things in this world that bring anxiety. We can live without worry, knowing that Father holds tomorrow in His hand. “No worries” allows us to walk in the joy, and the spiritual/emotional health and peace that Father intended us to have.

Not only that but the healing is real!

I learn to pray right – my communication with God is from my position of trust in Him. (Verse 6-7)
I learn to think right – My mindset is focused on Him. My thought life becomes one of purity, love, and praise. My thankful heart focused on Him. (Verse 8)

I learn to do right – My heart of gratitude directs me to live a life that reflects God’s glory and walk in his image and be in constant fellowship with him. (Verse 9)

Because in faith, I can thank Him no matter what comes my way.

The ultimate result? A mindset that is at peace. Guarded by God Himself. We then find that we lower the anxiety level in our lives because we trust in Him. We can let go of the past because He has forgiven us and abide in His presence. In gratitude we rest in the full assurance that His is in control of our lives and always at work for our very best. And for those reasons, Thanksgiving takes on a whole new meaning!

Yes, gratitude for God’s love and provision is one key to a life of spiritual and emotional well-being. Give thanks. Have a grateful heart, not just for the “stuff” of the “stuffing” you have, but that Almighty God loves you. He gave His Son to die for your eternal life and The King of Kings now dwells in you and calls you “My Child.” Good news for tired souls!

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Russell Irwin is the Recovery and Member Care Pastor at Long Hollow.