Thanksgiving for mid-course corrections on the Master’s Path for our life – Providence

Have you ever missed a turn on your road to somewhere and then had to make a mid-course correction?

Sometimes when you go too far down the wrong road, you can never completely retrace your path. You might even get blown off course through no fault of your own. Then you have to find a completely new course to your desired destination. We might not have felt particularly like giving thanks for those detours at the time we went through them. Maybe today we’ll discover some thoughts to help us reconsider – thanksgiving for mid-course correction on the master’s path for our life – the providence of God.

Proverbs 16:9 says “The mind of a man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” This is called the Providence of God.  God guides his children and God provides for their way. It’s one of the key characteristics that all of our nation’s founding men and women knew about their Creator and Savior.

I’ll never forget when, as a young man, daring to make a detour in my own career, I began to discover the providence of God was guiding my steps in ways that I had never considered before then.  It’s been a continuing journey of discovery ever since… discovering the limitless providence of God.

From the historical perspective of America’s early beginnings, one of the landmark examples of the providential direction of the steps of a believer’s way is seen in the account of our country’s ancestors, the Pilgrims, over 400 years ago.  Their plans were RE-directed by God’s providence numerous times.

One of the clearest short accounts of some key elements of the Pilgrim story is presented by author, Michael Medved for Prager University at https://youtu.be/a33Fuz8wKDA .  Let’s listen.

Did you catch nuggets of credit to the providence of God in Michael Medved’s brief report?  I was particularly delighted to hear his acknowledgment that…

“They maintained unshakeable confidence that God protected them, not to grant special privileges, but to impose special responsibilities. They saw themselves as instruments, not authors, of a mysterious master plan.”

One of the most profound chronicles of the providence of God is the whole history of the Pilgrims.  They truly are the epitome example of the sovereign guidance of God. They are the enduring taproot of the unique place God has for the historic pathway of America. They are an irreplaceable part of just why this nation is so exceptionally built on God’s merciful intervention. And it’s all amazingly lived out through the lives of Godly men and women.

Just consider some parts of the pilgrims’ journey where providence redirected their path from what they had planned.

Historian Bill Federer publishes a daily historic insight called American Minute that you can find at this link:   One of those recent reports recounted that…

High winds and treacherous tides along North America’s coast blew the Pilgrims 500 miles off course. That prevented them from joining Virginia’s settlement at Jamestown, founded 14 years earlier.

Having to make landfall in Massachusetts, there was no government to submit to, so the Pilgrims created their own. We know it as the Mayflower Compact.


It was the first “constitution” written in America. The Mayflower Compact began:
In ye name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyall subjects of our dread soveraigne Lord, King James … having undertaken, for ye glorie of God, and advancemente of ye Christian faith, and honour of our king & countrie, a voyage to plant ye first colonie in ye Northerne parts of Virginia …
in ye presence of God, and one of another, covenant & combine our selves togeather into a civill body politick … to enacte … just & equall lawes … as shall be thought most meete & convenient for ye generall good of ye Colonie, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience …”


The Mayflower Compact ended:
“In witnes wherof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cap-Codd ye 11 of NOVEMBER, Ano:Dom. 1620.”

Another fine example of God’s providence, in His guidance of the path of the Pilgrims, is beautifully told by Ben Franklin in his own autobiography.

From William Federer’s American Minute 11/23/17 – Notable Thanksgiving Day Proclamations

Ben Franklin wrote of the first Thanksgiving (The Compleated Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin, editors Mark & Jo Ann Skousen, Regnery, 2006, pp. 331-333):

“There is a tradition that in the planting of New England, the first settlers met with many difficulties and hardships, as is generally the case when a civiliz’d people attempt to establish themselves in a wilderness country.
… Being so piously dispos’d, they sought relief from heaven by laying their wants and distresses before the Lord in frequent set days of fasting and prayer.

Constant meditation and discourse on these subjects kept their minds gloomy and discontented, and like the children of Israel there were many dispos’d to return to the Egypt which persecution had induc’d them to abandon …”

Ben Franklin continued:

“At length, when it was proposed in the Assembly to proclaim another fast, a farmer of plain sense rose and remark’d that the inconveniences they suffer’d, and concerning which they had so often weary’d heaven with their complaints, were not so great as they might have expected, and were diminishing every day as the colony strengthen’d; that the earth began to reward their labour and furnish liberally for their subsistence; … that their seas and rivers were full of fish, the air sweet, the climate healthy, and above all, they were in the full enjoyment of liberty, civil and religious.

He therefore thought that reflecting and conversing on these subjects would be more comfortable and lead more to make them contented with their situation; and that it would be more becoming the gratitude they ow’d to the divine being, if instead of a fast they should proclaim a thanksgiving.

… His advice was taken, and from that day to this, they have, in every year, observ’d circumstances of public felicity sufficient to furnish employment for a Thanksgiving Day, which is therefore constantly ordered and religiously observed.

Historian, Bill Federer, in his excellent encyclopedia of quotations called “America’s God and Country,” includes many more firsthand accounts, most notably, William Bradford, the Plimoth Colony’s governor for nearly all of their first 36 years as a new colony.

When we discover more of the background history of the little English congregation we call the Pilgrims, the accounts are permeated with a recognition of God’s providence through all their many struggles. Their courage and tenacity to pursue freedom because of their strong convictions that the formalized influences of the Roman Catholic church made it impossible for them to honestly comply with the demands of King James of England. He was just as determined to ‘harrie’ them out of the land of England. If they had not been blown off course to land at Cape Cod, they would not have been forced to establish their own self-governed colony, independent of the jurisdiction and authority of England. That set the tone for the ‘spirit’ of what became America.

Think of the blessings we now have in America because of the foundations laid by these courageous souls.

Having been blown of course from their intended landing in Virginia by a terrible storm, the Pilgrims landed at Cape Cod on November 11, 1620. William Bradford recounted the landing in “Of Plimoth Plantation.”

“”Being thus arrived in a good harbor, and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of Heaven who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all the perils and miseries thereof, again to set their feet on the firm and stable earth, their proper element.”

Little did the Pilgrims know that if they had landed there a few years earlier, they would have been massacred by the Patuxet, one of the fiercest Indian tribes on the American coast.  The tribe, however, had been completely destroyed by a plague in 1617, although historians don’t know why.

Of the 102 Pilgrims, only 47 survived till Spring. At one point, only a half dozen of their number were healthy enough to care for the rest.

In the Spring of 1621, the Indian Squanto came among them, and showed them how to catch fish, plant corn, trap beaver, and was their interpreter with the other Indian tribes.

Governor William Bradford described Squanto as “a special instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectation.”

Governor William Bradford wrote of the Pilgrims: “They shook off the yoke of anti-Christian bondage, and as ye Lord’s free people, joined themselves (by a covenant of the Lord) into a church estate, in ye fellowship of ye Gospel, to walk in all his ways, made known or to be made known unto them, according to their best endeavors, whatsoever it should cost them, the Lord assisting them.”

Pilgrim elder William Brewster commented: “The church that had been brought over the ocean now saw another church, the first-born in America, holding the same faith in the same simplicity of self-government under Christ alone.”

To find out just what a dark world the Pilgrims endured, you should get William Federer’s book, “The Treacherous World of the 16th Century and How the Pilgrims Escaped It: The Prequel to America’s Freedom.” Go to www.AmericanMinute.com to order it. All of us, no matter what difficulties we have to face in our day, will be encouraged and inspired by discovering the hardships endured by those who survived during that time of many tribulations among the people of England and all of Europe. Between 1606-1609, Muslim pirates from Algiers captured 466 British and Scottish ships. The Extraordinary Story of North Africa’s One Million European Slaves tells how in 1625, Muslim pirates sailed up the Thames River and raided England. They attacked the coast of Cornwall, captured 60 villagers at one town and 80 at another. Muslim pirates took a whole island in Bristol Channel and raised the flag of Islam. By the end of 1625, over 1,000 English subjects were sent to the slave markets of Morocco.

I’ve been a life-long student of history. I had the joy of experiencing an early career as a history museum curator.  I don’t think anything matches the eye-opening revelation of my discovery that God has actually been guiding the history of human kind. The discovery of Acts 17:26 showed me an amazing corollary to Romans 8:28, God really does cause “all things to work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purposes.”  Here’s what the apostle Paul told the educated people gathered at Mars Hill to hear him unpack the reality that Messiah had finally come to bring about God’s redemptive plan for His earth.

God has made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

Think of it. God really is working all things together for good for those who love God and who are called according to His purposes. The pilgrims lived out a pivotal place in God’s providential history of the world… The world then was filled with uncertainty, with hardships, and tribulations from many causes. Was God in control?

Two years after the first thanksgiving at Plimoth, governor Bradford made an official proclamation for a day of Thanksgiving on November 29, 1623.

“to all ye Pilgrims: In as much as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest…

And then he went on to proclaim the setting aside of a special day of “thanksgiving to Almighty God for all His blessings.”

In 1647 William Bradford’s handwritten book he titled “of Plimoth Plantation,” shows us that his generation not only saw the providence of God in their experiences but they consciously lived in the recognition that their lives were about investing in the next generation for the kingdom of God. Hear what he wrote.

“last and not least…

…let the glorious name of Jehovah have all the praise.”

Today, we face uncertainty and tribulations causing many to suffer in unimaginable ways. Is God in control now?

I had a dream recently that awakened me when I imagined driving down a road and suddenly discovering I was on the wrong route even though I had not veered off the path I thought was correct.

Immediately, I thought of some of the many instances in my life where I was rerouted.  Some of those times were trying… some were exhilarating… but the Lord has always been faithful. 

As the prophet Jeremiah wrote in Lamentations 3:21-26

“Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The LORD is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the LORD.”

Isa 12:2  Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’

Thinking of God’s providence experienced by our pilgrim forefathers, will this holiday season leave you filled with joy…or burnt out from all the activities as you face the challenges ahead?

Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:11

Don’t you think that joy really is the bottom line of the Christian life. We desire this lasting joy for ourselves, but also for our families and for the world around us. Full joy (to the glory of God) is what we were created for.

What does that look like practically? It all starts with saturating our minds in the words and truths of Scripture and other resources filled with His Word.

Col 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

As you launch into the holiday season and select gifts for your loved ones, let me ask you a question:

Does the word of Christ dwell in you richly?

Are you willing to take some steps to prepare for the providence of God in your family?

This season you have an incredible opportunity to give your loved ones the gift of joy by giving gifts that are rich with the words of Christ and discoveries of His grace in the RE-directions of our lives. By God’s grace, He will make our joy full.

Reclaiming Your Legacy of Thanksgiving

by Dennis Petersen

reagan-1st-congress-prayerMuch has been researched and written lately about the proven personal benefits of expressing genuine gratitude.  It turns out that thankfulness is not typically a result of being happy, but rather the opposite is true.  People who deliberately and openly confess their thankfulness to others are the happiest of people.  And isn’t it interesting that those who recognize that their lives have a purpose are the ones who are prone to give thanks to their Creator and to those around them.

Have you discovered your purpose?  Do you have a clear reason why you’re excited to get up in the morning?  If you have a mission to drive your daily goals, you’re a much happier person than those who are just being driven by survival mode.

We’re a nation of people that has a centuries-old tradition of celebrating annual solemn days of Thanksgiving.  Yet, it seems that our current generation has almost no concept of the deeply personal conviction of the importance of gratitude.  And it’s pretty obvious that that gratitude should most deservedly be directed to the Almighty Giver of every blessing and perfect gift in our lives.

It seems like everybody is scrambling frantically to demand that their comforts and material desires be accommodated.  How often we see people so ungrateful that complaints and cynical dissatisfaction has become society’s normal?  Things haven’t changed much in 2,000 years have they?

Remember The Sin of Ingratitude in Luke 17:7-19?
Jesus healed ten men of leprosy.  One of them was a Samaritan man.  He was the only one of the ten who came back to Jesus and humbly thanked Him for healing him.  Jesus asked him: “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”  Sadly, my missionary friend in Africa reports that barely 10% of those they help will bother to express their gratitude with even a word of thanks or a note card.  Gratitude may be rare, but those who express it discover the most enriching lives on earth.  Instead of loneliness, poverty and depression, they are the ones most inclined to be enriched, energized, inspired and transformed

Gratitude goes counter to the ‘victim mentality’ that has deceived so many who think they are entitled to everything at the expense of others in our culture.  When we give thanks sincerely, we acknowledge that we have received a benefit that is unearned.  We can’t help but look beyond ourselves.

When you are stunned with the reality that you survived what could have been a fatal event, how does that make you feel?

After the victory of the Battle of Saratoga during the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress proclaimed the first National Day of Thanksgiving, November 1, 1777.  How did they express their feeling?  Here’s what they wrote in the proclamation:

“The grateful feeling of their hearts… join the penitent confession of their manifold sins…  that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance… and… under the providence of Almighty God… secure for these United States the greatest of all human blessings, independence and peace.”

If we want to reclaim our true history, we are going to have to work at telling our children about our real history.  It isn’t being taught in most schools and colleges today.  Thomas Jefferson was the governor of Virginia in 1779.  What did he chose to proclaim for his State after Admiral John Paul Jones captured the British ship HMS Serapis?  The Continental Congress declared a Day of Thanksgiving, which

“Congress… hath thought proper… to recommend to the several States… a day of public and solemn Thanksgiving to Almighty God, for his mercies, and of Prayer, for the continuance of his favour… That He would go forth with our hosts and crown our arms with victory; That He would grant to His church, the plentiful effusions of Divine Grace, and pour out His Holy Spirit on all Ministers of the Gospel; That He would bless and prosper the means of education, and spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth… I do therefore… issue this proclamation… appointing… a day of public and solemn Thanksgiving and Prayer to Almighty God… Given under my hand… this 11th day of November, in the year of our Lord, 1779… Thomas Jefferson.”

 

Hear what that same Continental Congress proclaimed after Benedict Arnold’s traitorous plot to betray West Point was thwarted.  It was a Day of Thanksgiving, October 18, 1780:

“In the late remarkable interposition of His watchful providence, in the rescuing the person of our Commander-in-Chief and the army from imminent dangers, at the moment when treason was ripened for execution… it is therefore recommended… a Day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer… to confess our unworthiness… and to offer fervent supplications to the God of all grace… to cause the knowledge of Christianity to spread over all the earth.”

After British General Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, Congress proclaimed a Day of Thanksgiving, October 11, 1782:

“It being the indispensable duty of all nations… to offer up their supplications to Almighty God… the United States in Congress assembled… do hereby recommend it to the inhabitants of these states in general, to observe… the last Thursday… of November next, as a Day of Solemn Thanksgiving to God for all his mercies.”

After the Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War, Congress recommended that the States declare a Day of Thanksgiving.  Massachusetts Governor John Hancock, the former President of the Continental Congress, proclaimed a Day of Thanksgiving, November 8, 1783:

“The Citizens of these United States have every Reason for Praise and Gratitude to the God of their salvation… I do… appoint… the 11th day of December next (the day recommended by the Congress to all the States) to be religiously observed as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer, that all the people may then assemble to celebrate… that he hath been pleased to continue to us the Light of the Blessed Gospel… That we also offer up fervent supplications… to cause pure Religion and Virtue to flourish… and to fill the world with His glory.”

After the U.S. Congress passed the First Amendment, it requested President George Washington issue a National Day of Thanksgiving, which he did, October 3, 1789:

“Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me ‘to recommend to the People of the United States a Day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness; ‘Now, therefore, I do recommend… Thursday, the 26TH DAY of NOVEMBER … to be devoted by the People of these United States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be… That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble Thanks… for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government… particularly the national one now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed… to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue.”

On January 1, 1795, President George Washington proclaimed a Day of Thanksgiving:

“When we review the calamities, which afflict so many other nations… the great degree of internal tranquility we have enjoyed –    the recent confirmation of that tranquility by the suppression of an insurrection which so wantonly threatened it – the happy course of public affairs in general –  the unexampled prosperity of all classes of our citizens; our circumstances which peculiarly mark our situation with indications of the Divine beneficence towards us.  In such a state of things it is, in an especial manner, our duty as people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experience…  I, George Washington, President of the United States, do recommend to all religious societies and denominations, and to all persons whomsoever, within the United States,  to set apart…a Day of public Thanksgiving and Prayer: and on that day to meet together and render their sincere and hearty thanks to the great Ruler of Nations.”

 

the-first-prayer-in-congress-september-1774After hearing those inspiring proclamations from national leaders – which, by the way, were entirely inspired by the attitude of profoundly committed preachers in the churches of the American colonies – doesn’t it seem about time that the pastors of our Bible-believing congregations lead the way for reclaiming our lost legacy for the current generation?  Should they not humbly call for days of contrition, repentance and sober thanksgiving?  We have such excellent Biblical and historic precedents to guide our way.

 

Taking God’s Blessings for Granted
Dr. Martin Luther observed: “The greater God’s gifts and works, the less they are regarded.”   It seems that the blessings of life, health, freedom and food are not really appreciated unless they are lost, or threatened. Sunrises and sunsets occur daily so they are taken for granted aren’t they?

Consider the Stars
Ralph Waldo Emerson observed that “If the constellations appeared only once in a thousand years, imagine what an exciting event it would be. But because they are there every night, we barely give them a look.”

The Blessings of Being Hungry and Lonely
Have you noticed that the blessings of rain are barely appreciated unless one has been through a drought?  A hungry man is more thankful for a tiny morsel than most affluent Americans for their table full of choice foods. A lonely woman in a nursing home will appreciate a visit more than a rock star with a crowd of fans. A Christian who has suffered under persecution for decades and receives his first copy of the Holy Scriptures is more thankful for one book than we are for all the Christian books, Bible translations and magazines that overflow our shelves.

You Should Experience Blindness for a Few Days
Helen Keller said: “I have often thought that it would be a blessing if each human being were stricken blind and deaf for a few days for some time during his early adult life. It would make him more appreciative of sight and of the joys of sound.”

A Biblical Command
There are at least 138 passages of Scripture that deal with the subject of thanksgiving. We are commanded: “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His Name.” Psalm 100:4.

“Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” Psalm 107:8.

“Give thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the Kingdom of light.” Colossians 1:12.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7.

Joyful, Prayerful and Thankful
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Plainly it is God’s will for us to be joyful, prayerful and thankful.

A Sacrifice of Praise
“Therefore, by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name.” Hebrews 13:15.

What makes praise a sacrifice?  Could it be that when the blessings we are thankful for have not yet manifested themselves in God’s providence?
A Good Habit
“It ought to be as habitual for us to thank as to ask.” C. H. Spurgeon

The Parent of All Virtues
It has been said that a thankful heart is the parent of all virtues.

What is the Root of Sin?

“The wrath of God is being revealed from Heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness… for although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”  Romans 1:18-21.  Look!  The failure to give thanks to God is the root sin that leads to futile thinking and foolish, darkened hearts.  Think about that.

One of the Worst Sins
In 1 Timothy 3:1-5 the apostle Paul gives a list of some of the most terrible sins including: “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, traitorous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power.”  Did you see that ungratefulness is listed in the middle of a list of horrible sins?

A Fruit of Character
What’s one of the first lessons good parents teach their children is to say? “Thank You”. It takes character and courage to admit being in debt to others. It is humbling. However, those who cannot admit their indebtedness to others cannot learn, nor can they seek forgiveness.

Maturity
Failure to express gratitude is more than immaturity and rudeness, it is ungodly. We are commanded to honour our parents, our elders and our leaders. It is a sign of maturity to acknowledge indebtedness.  Have you learned anything?  Then you’re in debt to somebody else, aren’t you?  We are all in debt, first, and mostly, to God Himself, for our life, health, food, talents, family, friends, opportunities and for our salvation itself. We are also in debt to past generations who have sacrificed for the freedoms we now enjoy: Reformers, martyrs, pioneers, missionaries, soldiers, parents, teachers, pastors and so many others have sacrificed for our benefit.
An Attitude of Entitlement
Instead of the Christian character of gratitude, our present culture prefers to promote an attitude of entitlement. This is the very opposite of gratitude. It builds on pride and covetousness. It is fuelled by bitterness, greed and envy. All too many in the present humanistic society take things for granted, demand to get, rather than seeking to give.  It is sheer wickedness, and is a sure road to being led astray by all sorts of empty promises and destructive ideas.

An Attitude of Gratitude
A grateful mind is a great mind. “Be thankful, therefore, for the least benefit and thou shalt be worthy to receive greater.” Thomas a Kempis.  Start giving thanks to God and the humblest of servants like your garbage man for the little blessings in life.  Start today to write notes of sincere gratitude to people who have blessed you in any small way.  Ask God to guide your thoughts.  Partner with a friend to hold one another accountable in your new habit of expressing gratitude.

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to Your Name, O Most High; To declare Your loving kindness in the morning and Your faithfulness every night.” Psalm 92:1-2.

Pride, Ingratitude and Unteachability
Those who do not take advice do not think they have anything to learn. They are often the same people who have a problem expressing a genuine heartfelt gratitude to others. It is a sign of pride to be ungrateful.  It reveals an unwillingness to acknowledge a debt to others.  By God’s grace, when we are humble enough to admit our wrong, He is powerful enough to enable us to change.  We can be a thankful person.

 

Let’s Make this season a Turning Point for expressing Thanks-giving.

List 7 things you are thankful for in your personal life today.

Call 2 people who you can honestly thank for something they contributed to your life.

Privately talk to God about the gratitude you have for His saving grace.

Take 2 minutes to begin pondering the incredible blessings you have to live now.

Promise yourself you will thank the next 10 people you encounter for something they did for you, even if it’s just a common courtesy.

The results of gratitude?

You will become healthier.  Recent studies suggest that gratitude strengthens the immune system, lowers blood pressure, improves sleep quality, and reduces inflammation in the body.  Grateful people are also more inclined to eat better and exercise which obviously increases your wellness.

You will become a more compassionate person.  When you make a routine of expressing gratitude to God and to others for tiny courtesies, you are looking beyond yourself.  You will be kinder.  You will be more forgiving. You will find joy in serving others and be willing to bear others’ burdens without expecting anything in return.

 

When you appreciate what you have, it’s impossible not to share it with others.  On the other hand, you can’t give something away when you’re empty yourself.  When you don’t know how rich you really are, you can’t take delight in sharing little insights with others.  The more aware and thankful we are of the good things in our lives, the more we are able to give to others.

 

Your relationships will deepen.  When you relate more gratefully to others you will draw closer and bond more deeply to the people in your life.  When you express gratitude to the people you love, you become more satisfied with your relationships.  You will reach out to others more easily.  You’ll be more generous.  You’ll be more forgiving and less judgmental.

A grateful heart is more content, more happy no matter what his circumstances are like.  And a happy heart focuses more on the really important joys of peace and little blessings that make life worthwhile.  That’s like a healing ointment to restore your health even when modern medicine can’t do it.

“Give thanks to the Lord, call on His Name; make known among the nations what He has done… Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever.” 1 Chronicles 16:8,34.