The third word in my prayer journal that I was inspired to be was grateful.
The Oxford Dictionary describes grateful as “feeling that one values a kindness or benefit received.” We are often grateful to others, for their hospitality, their generosity, their help, etc. While we are busy thanking those around us for their kindness are, we forgetting someone far more important … someone that has extended to us a much greater kindness? Who could we be overlooking? … Our Heavenly Father, of course! It can be so easy to cry out to God when we are desperate, in need or in want, but do we spend as much time, or rather, more time, thanking Him and showing Him how grateful we are for all that He has done for us?
You will notice that I often use God, Jesus and Spirit interchangeably, this is because whilst they are 3 persons they are one God, God is Jesus, Jesus is God, Jesus is Spirit, Spirit is Jesus, God is Spirit, Spirit is God. The Trinity is something that is on my list of “things to write about”. It is one of the most complex doctrines that we seek to understand within Christianity but hopefully, I can try and explain a little at some point!
So, let us look at the reasons we should be grateful for Jesus:-
- It is God’s Will that we should be grateful – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
- For adopting us into His family – Colossians 1:12 “and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.”
- For giving us eternal Life – John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
- For His wonderful deeds – Ps 9.1 “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.”
- For His love – Psalm 107:8 “Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind,”
- For giving us strength – 1 Timothy 1:12 “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service.”
- For His love and goodness – 1 Chronicles 16:34 “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
- For listening to us – John 11:41 “So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.”
- For leading us – 2 Cor 2:14 “But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.”
- For His grace – 1 Cor 1:4 “I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.”
- For giving us wisdom – Daniel 2:23 “I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors: You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you, you have made known to us the dream of the king.”
- For our salvation through His Son, Christ Jesus, John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Jonah 2:9 “But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’”
- For His mighty reign – Revelation 11:17 “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.”
- For His provision – Deuteronomy 8:10 “When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.”
- For our victory – 1 Corinthians 15:57 “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
- For God’s goodness to others – Romans 1:8 “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.” 1 Corinthians 1:4, “I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 3:9, “How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?”
So, how can we show our gratefulness:-
- In thankful, musical, worship – Colossians 3:16 “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” Psalm 95:2 “Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.” Psalm 69:30 ““I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.”
- In prayer – Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”
- In giving to others – 2 Corinthians 9:11 “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
- In everything you do – Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
So, how often should we give thanks:-
- Daily – Psalm 119:62 “At midnight I rise to give you thanks for your righteous laws.”
- Always – 1 Thessalonians 1:2 “We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.” Ephesians 1:16 “I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.”
- In every prayer – Philippians 4.6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.“
- Many times, a day – Daniel 6.10 “Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.”
There are so many more reasons to be thankful to our Father. The list is endless. The greatest aspect of God’s glorious provision that we are to be thankful for is Jesus. That God handed over His only Son to be crucified for us. We all read in horror the story of Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22:1-18. Spoiler alert … God saves Abraham from having to sacrifice his son, yet He does not save Himself from this torture. We must always remember; God has saved us. If we were to be held at gunpoint and as the fatal shot rang out someone was to throw themselves before it in order to take the bullet for us, would we not be grateful for this person our whole earthly lives! John 15:13 “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Jesus died for us, us who are sinners. We had not shown kindness to Jesus or showed friendship to Him, but he took the bullet for us in order that we could obtain eternal life. For this we must be eternally grateful.
Love and blessings