Gratitude is such a talked about topic today both in church and in other social circles that sometimes I that I can lose the reality of what it really is. Research is done on the positive effects of gratitude expression on the brain (neural activity).
The dictionary says gratitude us “readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”. Thankfulness and gratitude are interchangeable and the bible has much to say about being thankful. “In everything give thanks” is the exhortation in First Thessalonians chapter five.
Gratitude can turn a frown upside-down is a quote I like. Practicing gratitude actually increases dopamine (the stuff that makes you feel good) in your brain, and encourages your brain to seek more of the same. So, scientifically speaking, the more you are grateful for, the more you find things to be grateful for.
One of my many favorite scriptures that I love to meditate on and which always causes gratitude/thankfulness to rise in my heart is Psalm 103 verses 1 to 5. The Passion Translation says it like this:
“With my whole heart, with my whole life, and with my innermost being, I bow in wonder and love before You, the holy God!
Yahweh, You are my soul’s celebration. How could I ever forget the miracles of kindness You’ve done for me?
You kissed my heart with forgiveness, in spite of all I’ve done. You’ve healed me inside and out from every disease.
You’ve rescued me from hell and saved my life. You’ve crowned me with love and mercy.
You satisfy my every desire with good things. You’ve supercharged my life so that I soar again like a flying eagle in the sky!”
I am grateful for so many things: family, friends, provision of everyday needs, but most of all I’m grateful the our Lord and Friend saw me at the lowest point in my life, rescued me from the pit and set my feet on the Rock, Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour, and now hides me under the shelter of His wing in the secret place of His Presence. He is always available to hear my heart’s cry and is the Friend Who sticks closer than a brother. Thank You Jesus.
Grace and Peace.