Thursday, December 4, 2014

Your Gratitude and Faith

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

Thanksgiving day was only a week ago, and yet it already seems so far away. Sadly, so is a lot of our gratitude. It’s too bad that many focus their thanksgiving on Thanksgiving. Christ followers know that gratitude should be evident as a lifestyle because it is a command from God. Paul wrote, “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” [1 Thessalonians 5:18].

You may be asking, do you really expect me to express gratitude in every circumstance of life? Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Not for everything that happens in your life, but in all your circumstances be thankful because gratitude develops your faith. 

Gratitude demands your attention turn from your circumstances to God—who He is and what He can do. That is how your faith develops. When times are tough, when your prayers seem unanswered, when life doesn’t make sense—in other words, when life stinks—with hearts of gratitude you can say, “I know that God in control and I’m thankful that He is bigger than my problems.”

It’s not a big deal to thank God only for good times. Anybody can do that! But if you learn to thank God in the worst of times, your faith will grow stronger. Take Habakkuk, for example, when he said, “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior” [Habakkuk 3:17-18].

Gratitude is the ultimate test of your faith. When thankfulness is a lifestyle, you honor God, your relationship with Him deepens, and your faith is strengthened.

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6-7

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