Gratitude Leads to Joy

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:4-5

One of the things God has been telling me lately is this: “I created you to enjoy life to the fullest, and to give thanks in every situation.”

With all the calamities that have occurred this year and those still occurring as I write, it seems counterintuitive to enjoy life at this time while practicing gratitude. How can I be joyful and thankful when it seems like the world around me is falling apart and everything I thought was stable is now crumbling before my very eyes?

There’s a reason why joy and gratitude are intimately connected. Joy and gratitude are often mentioned together throughout Scripture, and this is precisely because it is impossible to be negative when we are grateful. It’s as if God created this inherent connection between thankfulness and joy.

Author and mindfulness instructor, Tamara Levitt, said, “It is not our circumstances that create gratitude, but rather our perception of our circumstances.”

Contrary to what many might believe, gratitude doesn’t just come to us. Gratitude doesn’t just happen to us. The powerful practice of gratitude is a daily, conscious choice. And the more we practice it, the more receptive we are to the peace that surpasses all understanding in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7). Our tendency toward negativity gets interrupted as we practice non-judgmental awareness of our thoughts. So the more we consciously and patiently choose gratitude in any given situation, the more we can enjoy life and enjoy it to the fullest.

I have a great quote that hangs on my wall at home and it reminds me every day: “Enjoy every single moment. The good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly, the inspiring, the not-so-glamorous moments. And THANK GOD through it all.”

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, thank you that you are the reason I can give thanks in every situation and enjoy life to the fullest. I surrender my thoughts, beliefs, choices and actions to be transformed daily by you.

 

By Jillian Morrison
Associate Pastor
Grace Life, Glendora, CA

 

5 thoughts on “Gratitude Leads to Joy”

  1. I so appreciate this prayer to our Triune God I appreciate that Our God is addressed in this manner as I too have addressed Him recently in likewise manner I feel it’s a good thing to do so .Jesus Christ has taught us to enjoy each moment, look to the ultimate future we have but appreciate the good things now. When we surrender all our being to the Triune God , we asking Him to change what needs to be changed so that we in alignment with His Will and a true reflection of Who He is.

  2. Thank you, Sister, for this timely reminder for thankfulness in the beginning of our day. Joy does follow as we live our lives in Christ by His Spirit to the glory of Our Father! Your Brother in Christ, Joe Elam

  3. Thanks, Jillian. Gratitude has become a rare virtue in the Western world where affluence has spoiled so many of us. We take so much for granted. As we get older we tend to increasingly appreciate what we have been given. Wonderful to see younger generations cherish God’s bountiful blessings.

    “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” -Meister Eckhart

  4. This is a gem of a presentation. Thank you Jillian for living it and then creating this piece for others of us to incorporate into our lives. Blessings upon you. Roger.

  5. I’m Thankful each day Jillian, that God has given us Jesus Christ as Our New Creation and His Joy to share in by His Spirit, knowing all things work out for the good, even our daily trials (many we make for ourselves) give us more than they take, as we then draw closer to Him for deliverance!
    In Him we Rejoice! Phil 4:4

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