Sometimes I think about recording the things I say over and over to my children, where I could just play them back on repeat. It would include a remix of: 

Have you brushed your teeth? 

Where are your shoes? 

Be kind. 

Have a grateful heart.

Gratitude – it’s important. Gratitude is an act of worship (Psalm 50:23) and it can be an act of obedience (1 Thessalonians 5:18). 

Gratitude is fascinating to me because it’s such an interplay between our hearts and our heads, sometimes an immediate natural response and sometimes a conscious choice.

Our Scripture today, Psalm 107, catalogues how people have repeatedly cried out to the Lord in their distress and how God has delivered them. It’s an anthem of thanksgiving. The Psalm repeats,

“Let them give thanks to the Lord for his loyal love,

and for the amazing things he has done for people.” —Psalm 107:21

We see this again in Psalm 100:4-5

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving,

and his courts with praise.

Give him thanks.

Praise his name.

For the Lord is good.

His loyal love endures,

and he is faithful through all generations.”

Being grateful is natural when the world feels easy, when the pieces fall together as I expect or hope, or when I’m on a mountaintop. 

But in a valley of life, it can feel foreign and fake to say ”Thank you.” Thank you for death? A job loss? An affair? A heartbreak? No. We can’t pretend to understand why in those moments. We can’t see how our faith might be refined by the struggles, and it feels artificial and trite to say it’s all working together for our good. For the days when my heart is hurting, I have to return to the basics. Sometimes being grateful is more an act of obedience than desire. 

I woke up today, so I’ll start there: “Thank You, God for breathing life into me in the beginning and thank You for another day.” 

Even on the hard days, in the dark, in the unknown – God is there. We can choose to be grateful:

  • for His presence and His promise to never forsake us
  • for our direct access to Him through prayer
  • for our eternal salvation bought by Christ’s death on the cross

You know what else is interesting (and encouraging) about gratitude? It’s something we can practice, and it’s something we can improve upon. Let’s slow down long enough to notice God in the details, to find the miraculous in the mundane, and to acknowledge our thanks. Gratefulness begets gratefulness. 

We thank people when they do us a favor or perform a service. Why would we do anything less for the One who created us?  

“This is the day the Lord has brought about.
We will be happy and rejoice in it.” Psalm 118:24

Gratitude is our only appropriate response for God’s extravagant grace and mercy in our lives. Let’s be intentional in having and cultivating grateful hearts.

Week 2 Challenge:

Focus on 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 this week. How can you always rejoice? What does it mean to constantly pray? Are you willing to give thanks in everything, even hardship and disappointment? Reflect on what God teaches you.

Week 2 Reading Plan

Week 2 Memory Verse

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Sara Lindsey

Sara Lindsey

Sara Lindsay is a West Texas girl. She adores her husband of 16+ years and delights in the daily chaos of raising and discipling their four young children. She is a physician, specializing in MRI imaging. Sara is an encouraging friend, intentional at developing authentic relationships. She has a heart for supporting women and families, and she is passionate about Bible translation.

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