When my kids were little, we used to spend quite a bit of time watching an animated show called Veggie Tales. In one of the stories, Madame Blueberry learns from a little girl that:
“A thankful heart is a happy heart. I’m glad for what I have, that’s an easy place to start.”
I can hear the voice and song and see the pictures in my head even as I write this.
Lately, the Spirit has been convicting me that I have not truly been as grateful as I should be.
We live in a generation in the West, where we are bombarded with visual and audio messages that insist that we’ll be happier with a new this or that (product, service, entertainment, etc.)
But as we chase after those things, we keep finding ourselves coming up empty.
The happiness that comes from that stuff is fleeting like the smoke that rises from a campfire – here one minute, and gone the next.
Ah, but a truly grateful heart, that’s a different story!
I look at pictures of people who have lost everything, or some who never had anything, and when someone gives them the least little help, their faces radiate with the happiness that can only come from a grateful heart.
If we don’t intentionally make an effort to be thankful in every situation (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and to rejoice in the Lord always (Philippians 4:4) as the Word commands, we will find ourselves unhappy as we take for granted the daily gifts that God gives us.
It’s kind of like being at an amusement park and not being able to find the entrances to any of the rides, and the crowds are milling about with lost & discontented looks on their faces. The people who find the entrance are so few, that the lines are not long enough to give away the secret (which is not really a secret, if people would just look in the right places) of where the entrances are.
The Bible clearly marks the entrance to happiness.
It starts with Jesus who called Himself “the Door” (John 10:9) and “the way, the Truth, and the Life.” (John 14:6)
But even once we have entered through that door, being humans, we can still lose sight of Him by allowing ourselves to be distracted by other things.
When was the last time you or I stood in wonder and thanked God for:
- our eyesight?
- the ability to walk?
- use of both hands?
- the ability to read?
- the ability to drive a car?
- a roof over our head?
- a bed to sleep in?
- running water from the tap?
- a refrigerator with food in it and electricity to power it?
- Christ’s sacrifice for us and all that it entails?
Countless people do not have these.
Have we taken these gifts for granted?
Are we showing people the Door?
So, what does the Bible tell us that points us to the way of gratefulness?
- In everything give thanks. (1 Thess. 5:18)
- Rejoice always. (1 Thess. 5:16)
- Be content with your wages (Luke 3:14)
- Be content with weakness (2 Cor. 12:10)
- Thou shalt not covet… (Exodus 20:17)
- Be content with what you have (Hebrews 13:5)…
“…He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.“
The Lord, Himself, is our deep and lasting, true happiness.
He is our joy.
We will never be content or satisfied with anything that we try to substitute for Him.
So, let’s make today the day we start over and intentionally, daily, take time to thank the Giver for all of His wonderful gifts.
“Every good and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of Lights.” James 1:17
Let’s pray together:
Forgive us, please, Lord, for taking the many gifts You have given us for granted and, in so doing, showing You disrespect and dishonor, when You really are worthy of all honor and glory and praise. We are sorry. Please help us to give You the glory due Your Name. It’s the least we can do when You have done so much for us. Amen.
What are some things you are grateful for? Please feel free to share in the comment section below.
Linking up at: