Guard Your Heart with Gratitude

It’s so easy to be discontent. It’s so easy to find fault. It’s so easy to stare at what’s wrong. Ungratefulness is just downright easy. 

But as easy as it is, it stands in stark contrast of God’s Word. Think about it. How many times in the Bible do we hear the call to give thanks and tell of His wonderful deeds? Here are a few:

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good
[Psalm 106:1]
Sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts
[Psalm 105:2]
Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
[Ephesians 5:19-20]
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to be peace. And be thankful.
[Colossians 3:15]
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]

Why the heavy emphasis on gratitude? It’s a powerful and essential act of worship. Gratitude sees the beauty and goodness of God’s faithfulness. Gratitude brings specific attention and praise to those very things. Even more, gratitude is both an indicator of your heart and a defender of your heart, which is why we so desperately need more of it.

And here’s the wondrous thing about it: gratitude has a gravity to it - the more you do it the more you see it. God’s goodness, kindness and faithfulness is all around you.

So how do we become more grateful? We practice thanksgiving.

I love how John Piper puts it, “Guard yourself with gratitude.” When you practice thanksgiving, you are building a wall of protection around your heart from the deceitfulness of the enemy. You are intentionally putting God’s goodness, kindness and faithfulness at the forefront of your mind, which is an incredibly powerful deterrent.

Gratitude is hard work though. It doesn't just happen overnight. It’s a habit you have to train your heart to do each and every day in all circumstances. Want to see your gratitude grow? Open your eyes to God’s blessings all around you. Here are three easy questions to answer each day to do just that:

  1. What is one thing from yesterday you are thankful for?
  2. What is one thing at the place you’re heading next (work, gym, store, etc.) you are thankful for?
  3. What is one thing in a monotonous area of your life you are thankful for?

Feeling stuck with simple surface level answers? Follow up every answer with a why. For example, “I’m thankful for Nate.” Why? “Because Nate met up with me for coffee yesterday.” Why? “Because Nate cares deeply about the hard week I’ve been having.” Boom. Now we’re getting somewhere!

Pro tip: mix it up – don’t just say you’re thankful for your family everyday. Force yourself to get specific and seek out God’s blessings that all around you.

Oh yeah, one last thing. Gratitude doesn’t just stop at what God has done in the past. It’s instrumental in shaping how we perceive the future. When we lose remembrance of what God has done, we lose confidence of what He’ll do (see Joshua 4:23-24.)

Don’t let a single blessing go unnoticed.

Sharable Quotes: 

Jared Iler // Creative Director at Humbled Daily

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