In God’s kingdom, gratitude and rest go hand in hand. When our heart is filled with gratitude for God’s goodness, we enter into a state of rest because we become conscious of God’s faithfulness.
In the same way, when we rest in God because we trust in His unfailing lead, we begin to nurture a grateful heart. Resting causes us to stop striving and dwell on the One we lean on.
God understood the importance of rest and it is why He commanded us to take one day off the week to observe Sabbath. God himself rested on the 7th day of creation – surely it wasn’t because He was tired.
Isaiah 40:28 tells us, “The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary..”
When God rested, He ceased working after six days of creating. In fact, that’s what Shabat means – ‘to cease or stop’ – God deliberately stopped working.
He was setting an example for us to follow – a day of rest designed for the good of mankind. He even deliberately blessed that day and made it holy, so that we will understand the importance of ceasing to work and enjoy a day of divine blessings!
Later, in Exodus 16:29, He even provided a double portion of Manna so the Israelites can observe the Sabbath and rest in His providence. When we stop for a day to rest and enjoy all the blessings in our life, we are actually stopping to show our gratitude to the God that provided those blessings.
When gratitude enters our hearts, discontent takes leave; it is simply impossible to be dissatisfied and thankful at the same time.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” This means a grateful heart leads to a life nestled in God’s will for us.
Can you think of a better way to live?
But how often are we truly thankful for ALL that God has given us? How often do we say it out loud or better yet, testify to others about every good thing in our life?
How often do we curb our complaining when things don’t go our way and instead give gratitude to the One who is leading our way?
To maintain a mindset thanksgiving, we must intentionally cultivate a lifestyle of gratitude.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Gratitude is a muscle we need to exercise every day – we must pause daily to give thanks.
Think about what God has done and what He is doing now, and then, write it down if you have to. Confess what you are grateful for because it ushers in the presence of God.
Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”
So basically, we can be in God’s presence anytime, anywhere simply by giving Him thanks! How marvellous that we have this bold access to God! A grateful heart allows us to lean in closer to our Saviour.
Gratitude helps us shift the atmosphere of our hearts whenever we are discouraged or disheartened. It gives us inner clarity and focus, and it puts things into perspective. Being thankful encourages us because it opens our eyes to all that we are blessed with – even when we think we don’t have enough.
Gratitude is the vehicle that helps us move out from a space of negative complaining and into a place of positive appreciation.
Being thankful teaches us to always remember all that God has done in the past and helps us position ourselves to see what God is doing at this moment. Gratitude changes our attitude because it locks our gaze on all that we have and not on what is missing.