It’s Thanksgiving here in America….and I love that there is a focus on gratitude. Words like ”blessed” and “grateful” are on people’s lips and seen decorating homes and shops…
It’s a great time to stop for a moment, reflect, and express personally and as families the things for which we are thankful.
Then, a month later, Christmas is celebrated all over the world….again, it is an opportunity to be grateful for the fullness of life we have because of the gift from heaven….
Perhaps these events could be for us a great reminder of how we need to live…. a lifestyle of gratitude rather than just a season of the year.
When the apostle Paul was in prison, he wrote from a deep place of peace, thankfulness, and hope, something that he could not be robbed of, in spite of current confines and hardship.
And so he encourages us to live with hearts full of gratitude, not because of favorable circumstances but from the inner wealth of our relationship with Jesus.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” NIV
Gratitude is life-giving even when it feels like everything around is draining you of life, joy, and hope.
Gratitude releases heaven’s joy within you….and it will spill over to touch all around you.
You can’t remain a victim when you are the recipient of heaven’s delight.
Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, we have the privilege, the delight of living in the presence of Jesus…we can know Him, not just know about Him.
He is our Savior and our friend, ever-present, closer than family.
We can only engage with him when we are aware of His presence…and gratitude opens us to the reality of His presence. The more we live in gratitude, the more we will be aware of his presence.
The Passion Translation often refers to the “warp-around presence of the Lord.”… gratitude both enables and continues our awareness of a God who loves us beyond measure, who is with us, for us, empowering us.
“The Lord alone is our radiant hopePs 33:22-23
and we trust in him with all our hearts.
His wrap-around presence will strengthen us.
As we trust, we rejoice with an uncontained joy
flowing from Yahweh!
Let your love and steadfast kindness overshadow us
continually, for we trust and we wait upon you!” TPT
Live in presence….live in gratitude!
Live in gratitude, and you will quickly be sensitive to His presence.