An Attitude of Gratitude

Written by Jeffery Carlson on . Posted in Local

thanksgiving3I just can't imagine living one day without a sense of gratitude about something or someone. Every where we look amazing things are happening. Every day is a miracle! If we are honest with ourselves and what we see and experience, the Lord has surrounded us with enough people and things that it is natural to be filled with some level of gratitude every day. Without this sense of gratitude toward something or someone life becomes dull, meaningless and we end up just going through the motions.

What does a person do when they can't find someone or something to be thankful for in their lives? What does a nation do when it doesn't have a clearly defined Deity to thank for something in its' national life? When an individual and/or nation lose this ability to be thankful, a process of spiritual decline, rebellion and bitterness begins to take hold. The Apostle Paul spoke of this decline in Romans 1. The Apostle tells the church that the Lord has filled the world with so many amazing things that it is impossible NOT to know there is a God and have an attitude of gratitude. People have to spiritually work HARD to deny and suppress the presence of the Lord in every day life. When this process continues to happen over a period of years, a society is heading toward some kind of moral and spiritual collapse. Over the years, I have found that the public reading of Romans 1 has become one of the most controversial passages in the entire Bible. It has become so controversial because of how accurately it describes what happens to a society that has forgotten to thank the Lord. The text is just too close to home for many today so most people just avoid altogether.....including pastors and churches. Can you imagine someone putting Romans 1:21 up on their refrigerator next to a picture of the family?

When you are filled with an attitude of gratitude you see the Lord everywhere, every day. You see the Lord working when a sales clerk is extra kind to you or a waiter/waitress brings you that extra ketchup for your fries. You see the Lord when your friends, spouse or children do something they didn't have to do for you. My father used to say that "please" and "thank you" were the "magic words" on which all social discourse flowed. What would life be like without those "magic words"? They turn ordinary public discourse and life into gracious exchanges between people made in the image of God. Keeping an attitude of gratitude lets every day remind us of the love of God and the Cross and all the things the Lord has done, is doing and will do in the days ahead. The attitude of gratitude reminds us that life is a thankful experience of His amazing grace. When we carry such an attitude around with us life changes in ways we can't explain.

November is the month of a national holiday that many seem to have forgotten these days. Everywhere you look the country is struggling because more and more of its citizens have forgotten to thank the Lord. Thanksgiving has drifted toward "Turkey Day", and fewer and fewer of us even understand why that change has even happened.
As we begin November, let's NOT join the world's thankless spirit of entitlement. Let's be filled with the Spirit of grace, thanksgiving and praise to the Lord that gave us life and life eternal through our Lord Jesus Christ. Let's carry the attitude of gratitude into every place we go in the days ahead and find that such an attitude can carry us through life's most difficult moments.

"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 1:21

Author Information
Jeffery Carlson
Jeff Carlson was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs. Jeff came to personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as a college freshman through the witness of a campus evangelist. He graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana, Illinois with a degree in engineering and worked in the corporate world for several years before his call to ministry. Following graduation from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California Jeff came to Oakhill Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he currently serves as pastor. Jeff has a tremendous passion to teach, preach and communicate God's Word in simple and clear ways that the average person can understand.

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