The Power of Gratitude

As we head into our Thanksgiving weekend here in America, I have a question for you:

Why should You be thankful?

Seriously–I’m not looking for the ‘churchy’ answer here, I’m really asking you to consider: Why are YOU thankful this year?

It seems to me that our culture has become a cesspool of negativity, and that it is very popular (even encouraged) to complain.

Some can complain about the election…others complain about the reaction to the election!

Some complain about their jobs, and others about their lack of a job.

Some complain about their finances, their health, their relationship status, their schoolwork…the list could go on!

So, let me ask again: What do YOU have to be thankful for this year?

My sense is that, if we stop ourselves long enough…push back from the News and Social Media, and get alone with God, we’d start to remember…

We’d remember that He is the Source of all blessings, and we’d thank Him first.

James 1:16-17:Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

We’d remember that the biggest and best blessing ever: The promise of Eternal LIFE comes from His loving heart to us by faith in Jesus.

We’d remember that we are sinners, not ‘deserving’ that Life…but we’d sure be thankful for His grace toward us!

We’d remember again His many general blessings–especially in this nation–the freedom to worship Him and live our lives according to His Word; the beauty of His creation, along with the blessings to see, hear, smell and experience it.

We’d remember the blessing of family–our ‘family of origin’ and our current family. We’d be thankful for the memories, and thankful for the opportunity to love each other still.

We’d remember our relationships in general, and be thankful that God put those people into our lives.

We’d become aware, again, of our physical bodies, and thankful for the abilities He has given us to do whatever He calls us to do.

We’d be thankful for His provision–through our ability to earn a living, along with the generosity of others.

If we continued to spend time with God, asking Him to help us be aware of our blessings, we’d be thankful, again, for our country. To be sure, a country with problems, a country with some regrettable history, but a country where freedom, liberty and the power of the individual to choose their life’s direction is still true.

Again…the list could go on almost forever!

So here’s the choice we have: Will we give in to the power of negativity, complaining, gossip, division and ultimately, hate?

Or, will we allow the power of the Holy Spirit to fill us with thankfulness, appreciation, gratitude and ultimately, Love?

One of those roads leads to destruction and death–both individually, and as a nation. The other leads to blessing and life.

I choose life! I choose thankfulness! I choose gratitude.

Don’t get ‘sucked in’ to the negative vortex and ‘downward spiral’ of complaining. downward-spiralInstead, lead people around you upward, toward blessing, life and generosity of spirit!

Philippians 2:14-15: “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”

You and I can be some of those who realize that we need to get off the ‘negativity train’ and start to be a positive force of blessing in this world. We can do that consistently if we start with gratitude based on the blessing of the Lord!

I hope and pray that you have a very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving, and that you see the Source of those blessings–God–every day!

Published by Pastor Dave Johnson

Follower of Jesus, Husband to Lori, Proud Father to 6 great kids, Co-Pastor of Kalamazoo Community Church. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan.

2 thoughts on “The Power of Gratitude

  1. Thanks Dave, that was awesome!💓 I feel thankful everyday that I’m still here to love on my family…God gave me my life back 6 years ago…not one minute of one day goes by that I’m not thinking…wow I just walked up the stairs, I just brushed my own teeth, or I’m so achy..but then I say to myself ….but I’m here and I’m soooooo blessed!! GOD is in control and he has given me personally way more gifts than I could ever deserve! praise our Awesome God!!!🙏🏻💓🤗

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