[Gratitude] treats God like His goodness is real
The Greatness of Gratitude
Two men were walking through a field one day when they spotted an enraged bull. Instantly they darted toward the nearest fence. The storming bull followed in hot pursuit, and it was soon apparent they wouldn’t make it.
Terrified, the one shouted to the other, “Put up a prayer, John. We’re in for it!”
John answered, “I can’t. I’ve never made a public prayer in my life.”
“But you must!” implored his companion. “The bull is catching up to us.”
“All right,” panted John, “I’ll say the only prayer I know, the one my father used to repeat at the table: ‘O Lord, for what we are about to receive, make us truly thankful.
What Gratitude Is:
Essentially it is praising someone for some good they’ve done to you. Biblically it means acknowledging God’s goodness to you and praising Him for it. Acknowledging God’s gifts, recognizing Him for His goodness, Praising Him for His Generosity, Holding Him in High Esteem for His blessings, crediting Him for all you have.
Gratitude is being intentionally aware of how good God is – and has been – to you. That awareness produces an enlarged love and adoration towards Him
Re-Read Psalm 100
The Old 100th
The only Psalm specifically designated for thanksgiving
Why is Gratitude to God such a great thing?
- It magnifies God’s greatness. It treats God like His goodness is real. (Ingratitude is a refusal to approach your life in light of God’s character).
- He is the Creator (v3) – our life comes from Him and is owed to Him
- He is our Shepherd (v3) – loving, caring, guiding us in life
- He is Good & Faithful Forever (v5)
- Good means His heart is set on us and He will bless us
- Faithful means He will keep His word and He will do all things for His glory and our good
- Gratitude makes us have a great mindset.
- Verse 2 says, “Come before Him with…”
- Verse 3 says “know that the Lord is….”
- Verse 4 says , “Enter His gates with….” App
- He is saying that the way we see God will affect how we approach Him. We ought to view out at the world and ourselves in light of God’s goodness and faithfulness. Being grateful means that we live with the perspective that He does in fact love us and is good to us. And that has a profound impact on us every day. We will “come before Him”, and “Enter His gates” when we know in our hearts that the Lord is God” and from Him come every blessing.
- Gratitude makes for great worship. There is no worship like thankful worship. Knowing God is the Source of our blessing makes us adore Him.
- Shout for joy
- Worship the Lord with gladness
- Bring joyful songs
- Intelligent worship, “Know the Lord is God, is good, is faithful is loving and is all these things forever and ever” etc. You know why you are worshipping Him – your mind and heart are together in adoring God
Don’t let your thanksgiving be burglarized. Keep a watch out for things that will rob you of a thankful heart.
First, an attitude of entitlement. If you believe you are entitled to things, you will feel slighted when you don’t get them. The problem is that you focus all your attention on what you don’t have and feel you deserve while becoming blind to all that you do have.
Start by changing your attitude to say, “I deserve nothing, and, if all that I have I have received as a gracious gift from God.” First Corinthians 4:7 says “what do you have that you did not receive?” Then start listing all your blessings. Then go through the NT and list all the blessings you have in Christ.
Second, watch out for anger. Anger usually comes from an attitude that says I’ve been wronged. Our attention focuses so much on how we’ve been wronged, and the emotion of anger is so dominating, we find that where there should be gratitude for what God has given us, we are angry instead. There’s only one way to get rid of anger, which is tied to the 3rd Robber.
Thirdly, watch out for unforgiveness. Refusing to forgive someone for how they have hurt you will cause anger and bitterness in your own heart. There will be no room for thanksgiving when we won’t forgive. Give forgiveness. In Colossians 3:13, in the same context as our verse this morning, Paul says this, “Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Forgiveness is the key to being rid of anger and making room for the overflowing thankfulness and joy that Paul speaks of.
Fourthly, watch out for Pride. Pride says I have to be first, the best, the most important, the most noticed and the most admired. Pride makes us think that we got it all on our own and did all by ourselves. Pride makes us think that what we have been given actually we deserved. It was owed to us. Pride makes us so self-absorbed that we become totally insensitive to and unmoved by the nice things we have received. They’re taken for granted.
Gifts to You from Gratitude:
When you let gratitude in here are some gifts she will bring to you:
First, Joy. Joy is a gift that gratitude gives you.
Second, gratitude gifts you with freedom from self-pity.
Third, freedom from selfishness and self-centeredness. An obsession with yourself dissolves when you practice gratitude
Fourth, gratitude gifts you with usefulness. Think of it, you stop with your pre-occupation with yourself and you can begin to think of others and then be used by God in their lives to bless them.
Fifth, gratitude shifts your focus to see your blessings and the many reasons you have to be content. Meditate on the good things you do have and stop overlooking them (Take note of all the green lights, not just the red ones!)
Scottish minister Alexander Whyte was known for his uplifting prayers in the pulpit. He always found something for which to be grateful. One Sunday morning the weather was so gloomy that one church member thought to himself, “Certainly the preacher won’t think of anything for which to thank the Lord on a wretched day like this.” Much to his surprise, however, Whyte began by praying, “We thank Thee, O God, that it is not always like this.”