The Habit of Grtitude

from Moody Publishing

Thanksgiving in the Bible is for both the sun-lit mountaintop and the deep, dark valley. We don’t wait until our faith is so strong that thanksgiving bursts at the seams. We practice thanksgiving because it’s part of how we set our eyes on God and cultivate faith in Him. Thanksgiving pushes back against the full-court press of worry, fear, and anxiety. 

The Psalms prove especially helpful for seeing thanksgiving as a weapon against worry. Because the Psalms are poetic, I think we sometimes imagine they were composed from a serene cabin in the woods. But the psalmists crafted many of their words in the midst of danger, trials, and suffering. David penned a number of psalms when he was in the wilderness, running and hiding from enemies, abandoned, betrayed, hungry, thirsty, and weary. The Psalms in the wilderness were forged in the fire, not on a spiritual retreat. 

When David’s life is full of things causing worry by looking around, he looks up in thanksgiving. Below are just three of the many ways in which we can mirror David’s attitude of thanksgiving: 

We can be… 

1. Grateful that He is faithful (105:1-6) 

One of the ways David gives thanks is by rehearsing God’s works. He looks back and remembers God’s faithfulness. This helps him know God can and will deliver him again. He can face today and tomorrow because he’s thankful for God’s provision, power, and presence in the past. 

2. Grateful that He listens (28:6-7) 

David sometimes thanks God for listening to his prayers and his cries. Regardless of what happens, David is thankful that God bends his ear to us. We can bring the burdens of our hearts to God and He listens with the love of a perfect Father. David’s pain does not go unnoticed and his cries do not go unheard, and neither do yours. The God of the universe, our Father, listens to you and is present with you. 

3. Grateful that He has a plan for our lives (52) 

David prays with thanksgiving in an expectation for how God will act. He gives thanks in advance for what God is doing and will do. He’s confident that because God loves him, is for him, has good plans for him, and is at work in his life, God will provide, protect, and deliver him. David gives thanks even as he prays for what God will do, and then he rests in Him. When David flees enemies and seeks God’s deliverance, he both asks for help and thanks God in advance for the help on the way (Ps. 52:5, 8–9). 

Let every day be a chance for I-spy-God moments. Your life is full of blessings, even if they feel like small ones, and as we notice them and give thanks our outlook on things begins to change. Like a snowball, little blessings grow into bigger ones and our faith in God grows. When you see God’s gifts or taste grace, give thanks.

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