Gratefulness Brings Joy

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)…

Why?

BECAUSE

…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.

Gratefulness for God's Gifts

What are some things you are grateful for?  Please feel free to share in the comment section below.

Linking up at:

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28 thoughts on “Gratefulness Brings Joy

  1. God knew I needed this confirmation this morning as I am FIGHTING for my joy. Since yesterday have been praying 1 Thessalonians 5:18 and today you are my neighbor at #raralinkup so God has seen and heard my prayer and He has answered. Blessing to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Praise the Lord for moving in the lives of people who are total strangers to us to speak just the right words at the right time and in the right place! It happens so often, I don’t believe it is a coincidence anymore. It is obviously God-orchestrated!
      Thanks for the blessing, Tyra, and may the Lord bless you and yours as well! 🙂

      Like

  2. We’re in a series at church right now called “Beyond Happy.” Our pastor felt a burden to pull us out of the place of self-medicated, external, materialistic happiness and fix our hearts and mind on the eternal joy that only comes through honest relationship with Jesus. I think so many people want to be happy, but like you said, they forget to be grateful for what they have been given, particularly by our gracious God. Love your heart to stop and turn back to God as our true source of happiness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He is, Tiffany! That’s just the truth of it!
      Sounds like your pastor has heard this message from the Lord, as well. I pray you will all take that path of discovering a deeper and deeper relationship with the God who loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, who is the only One by whom we can know the Father. John 14:6

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ruth, I’ve been dwelling on a couple of the same verses lately. Our family recently went through an incident where we lost some stuff. It was a small glimpse into the lives of those who lose everything in a moment. It made us more aware of our gratefulness and Provider. Thanks for the reminder to be thankful for even the little things we tend to take for granted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kelly, for sharing this little piece of your story here and how God is working in your lives. These experiences can be painful, but as you know, the Lord brings good out of them, and you are doing just the right thing by dwelling in Him and in His Word.
      Have a thankful and joyful rest of the week! 🙂

      Like

  4. Dear Ruth, it was thunderstorm over here yesterday. As the rains poured I recall a recent conversation. She shared her testimony, teary eyed as I sat in awe, wordless with no strenghth in me to utter a word.
    This same season last year left them homeless. Her hubby had to hang on to the roof so it doesn’t get thrown off!
    But she ended with a beautiful testimony of how God brought them out it!
    She had so much gratitude to last a lifetime!
    I am grateful, Ruth. For everything, everyone, and every season in my life.

    God Bless sweet friend…Happy New Month. We should chat soon, shouldn’t we?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Grateful in the mundane is a practice, isn’t it? I try to live a grateful life, but I don’t often think about the things like beds and pillows and shoes. We have much to be grateful for. Especially for a God who is “our joy.” — Lovely Ruth, thanks for sharing. ((hug))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’re right, Brenda. Maybe if I tried to practice it more, 24/7, it would start to come easier?
      It’s hard to wrap my brain around just how amazing my God is, and though I recognize Him often in a posture of worship, I still shortchange Him of the worship He deserves as Giver when I take His gifts for granted. Sorry, Lord.

      Like

    1. Hi, Sarah! Thanks for your visit! It’s interesting, I think, how we view these things as simple as long as we have them, but if/when they are taken away for a while, they do not seem so simple anymore. Suddenly their importance grows exponentially in our minds. Millions of people the world over do not have any number of these things. What would we do if we became one of their number?
      Lord, help us.

      Like

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