Cultivating a Heart of Gratitude
Scripture says we are to cultivate a heart of gratitude. Rather than thinking about the things we don’t have, we can train our hearts to thank God for what we do have. Shelter, food, clothing, jobs, health, etc. But how?
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Godliness with contentment is great gain. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have. (Philippians 4:11-12, I Timothy 6:6-9, Hebrews 13:5)
Did you catch that? The way to contentment comes through learning a secret.
But what is that secret? Contentment comes through godly living and guarding against the love of money and material possessions. At some point in each life, we look around and compare our belongings and riches to others, and we fall into the discontentment trap. This trap has bars that squeeze the joy and happiness from our very soul. But there is a rescue, a way to freedom.
At a low point in life, the discontentment trap held me tightly, and the joy of living was siphoned from me. I struggled to find anything to be thankful for. A friend suggested I keep a “thank you” journal and list ten things each day for which I was thankful. She said, “It doesn’t matter how big or small the thing is if you find yourself appreciating it during the day, add it to your journal.” This exercise helped recalibrate my thinking from lack to plenty. It helped me train my mind to be shaped by God’s goodness rather than man’s comparison.
When I chose gratitude, I began to see positive things. As I continued this exercise, I began seeing more positive things, and my gratitude increased. My perspective was reshaped, and my heart of discontent metamorphosed into a heart of thanksgiving.
How can we continually cultivate a heart of gratitude?
- Allow God to shape your perspective, turning your doubts and fears to prayers and trust.
- Invite God to show you where He is working so you can see and participate in His activity.
- Release your grip on things you hold tightly so God can work and move in the day to day worries and concerns of your life.
It is a heart of gratitude that allows us to experience the fullness of a God who heals and restores. In this heart of gratitude is the secret of a godly life of contentment! As we do our part, God meets us, teaches us, and transforms us into the people we are created to be!