The Power of Gratitude
by Peggy Fry
Thanksgiving is such a wonderful time of the year. Leaves are turning, days are crisp and lovely. It is a time to reflect and to be thankful and grateful.
We can define thankfulness as giving thanks to God for His love and faithfulness to us, for all He is and all He does. When we are thankful, we are showing our appreciation for His bountiful blessings in our lives.
And gratitude is acknowledging not only His goodness and faithfulness to us but also to other people — our friends, our neighbors, and those with whom we rub shoulders on a regular basis.
So, to you, I say thank you, and I want to express how truly grateful I am for your love, your friendship, and your prayers as I celebrate this holiday with all of you.
I realize that many of us are overwhelmed with all that is happening in our nation and with the chaos we see around the world. But we can trust God, no matter what comes our way. We can trust God through the storms of life. We can be thankful and grateful.
Psalm 46 contains perhaps one of the most important admonitions in all of Scripture: “Be still and know that I am God” (:10-11). The Amplified Bible puts it this way: “Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God.” The God of Jacob is our Refuge, our High Tower, and our Stronghold.
Selah—pause and think on that truth for a moment:
BE—today, now, presently
STILL—quiet your mind, your agenda, and your thoughts
KNOW—be aware, understand, ponder, meditate
THAT—pertaining to one thing
I AM—I was, I am, and I will always be your Source
GOD—the Creator, who sees all, knows all, and has all wisdom and understanding
He Himself is our blessed future and our everlasting hope. How grateful I am that He can and will calm all of our storms. Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us that “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” His timing is perfect, and it is His desire to help us overcome every trial that we face as we place our trust in His Lordship and sovereignty.
And He promises that, if we ask Him, He will “teach us to number our days aright that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12).
So every time something thwarts your plans or desires, consciously choose to use that moment as a reminder to bring the situation to Him. This discipline has several benefits. The first is obvious: Talking with Him blesses you and strengthens your relationship with Him. Another benefit of this strategy, though, is that instead of letting disappointments drag us down, we can actually turn them into opportunities for the hurt we feel to be removed and for the sting of difficult times in our lives to be relieved—thus making it possible for us to “rejoice in Him always” in the midst of the circumstances and hardships that may follow.
I am reminded today of the horrific hurricane in Florida, and how the people of Florida are determined to rebuild, remake, and rejuvenate their state to make it even better than it was before. So let us resolve to reframe our setbacks as opportunities. My daughter Shannon reminded me recently that the Lord doesn’t always give us surplus, but He always supplies us with exactly what we need. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “Compared to knowing Christ, I consider everything I once treasured to be as insignificant as rubbish” (Phil. 3:8).
So, dear ones, let this be our sincere prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to make the most of our time, to seek You with all our hearts, and to trust that You will calm our storms and revive us again. You have given us Your perfect love and grace. And help us to pour out to others, overflowing like a river, Your faithfulness, Your goodness, Your mercy, and Your perfect peace that stills every anxious thought. For all that You are and all that You want to graciously pour out through our lives, we are truly grateful. Amen.