What comes to your mind when you consider gratitude? I envision that late November Thursday filled with an herb-roasted turkey, relatives around a table, and casseroles atop the fine china. I envision going around the dining table and listing a few things I’m thankful for while my loved ones listen and chime in. But shouldn’t there be more to gratitude than one autumn meal?
Gratitude is more than sharing dressing and cranberry sauce. Gratitude is a posture of the heart that is worshipful to God and beneficial to our own mental health, physical health, emotional health, our relationships, and even God’s kingdom.
Implementing gratitude may be especially important as we approach this unusual Thanksgiving. You may not be able to travel to have that cherished meal with your loved ones due to COVID-19. You may not be allowed to be in any proximity of people special to you because of age or underlying conditions. You may even have lost people to coronavirus who would usually sit around the table with you on Thanksgiving. This approaching holiday may leave you feeling full of grief rather than full of thanks.
However, learning how to have gratitude when it isn’t easy is actually the whole point. When we can find reasons to praise God even when it’s hard, we show that we believe our King is on the throne—that our faith is in Him alone. We also bring ourselves into a rhythm of naturally expressing gratitude.
Bible Studies for Life’s free eBook, How to Cultivate Gratitude, is here to help you do just that. Merriam-Webster defines “cultivate” as “to foster the growth of” and “gratitude” as “the state of being thankful”. Thus, our goal in cultivating gratitude is to foster the growth of the state of being thankful. We want to plant seeds of gratitude in various aspects of our lives and reap the harvest of this way of life. Together, we can cultivate gratitude, and with our hearts full of praise, our minds set on praiseworthy things, and our hearts filled with light, we will see all the benefits God brings from this way of life.
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