Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
Gratefulness. It’s defined as the appreciation of benefits received. Benefits are things that produce good or helpful results or effects or promote well-being. I’m immediately reminded of Psalm 103:2, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits”. Which benefits from the Father should be constantly at the forefront of our minds?
“...The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…”
We should be grateful for the benefits of God’s long-suffering and salvation. It is a benefit that He desires that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9). It is a benefit that He sent salvation full of grace and truth (John 1). It is a benefit that He has expectations of His children (Deuteronomy 10:12-13). It is a benefit that He is not a liar and His word does not return void (Isaiah 55:11). It is a benefit that His words are life (John 6:63).
To be thankful is to be conscious of the benefits received, and to be conscious of it is to act in a way that acknowledges it. God saw that we were in desperate need of salvation, and He sent Jesus Christ to not only show the way but be the way. Gratefulness should be embedded in the character of every believer. It is not wrapped in a day or a meal, but it should be evident in our love for the Father and for our neighbor. Our daily lives should be lived as grateful servants of the King.
Bless be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation! (Psalm 68:19).
Heavenly Father, thank you for the benefit of life. Thank you for salvation. May we come to a genuine understanding of You and Your will. Please fill us with wisdom so that we can answer the call to love You with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and our neighbors as well. Forgive our ungratefulness and renew our minds to serve You. In Jesus’ name and character, we pray, Amen.
Kelly Vonner, Restoring the Branches Ministry