Devotions from Judy’s heart:
Would people around us say, “Oh she is a grateful person!” or “Oh he is one thankful guy!? It is good to do a check on ourselves often to see what our gratitude thermometer reads.
We have so many scriptures about thanking God and it says in Eph. 5:20 (The Word), “Always thank God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The Message translation puts it as, “Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ.”
Wouldn’t it be great if all Christians were overflowing with thanksgiving and praises? What a difference we would make in the world. I read what Mark Roberts at Fuller Seminary had to say about living fully, gratefully, and persistently. We are aware that we are to regularly give thanks to the Lord but the word persistently would mean even when things on not as we’d like. For me that means praising God even when my computer goes bonkers after the updates! (I find that hard but later, of course, I am full of thanksgiving when it is up and running again.)   But we have the example of the apostle Paul who thanked God even when he was persecuted or in prison for the Lord’s sake; his praise wasn’t dependent on his circumstances but on God’s mercy to him in all things. He didn’t ask to be removed from his circumstances but asks God for strength to endure the hard things with joy. Really with joy!
We may not thank God for our problems but rather for His strength and all the good things He is building in us through our circumstances. Then we can be thankful at all times and for everything, knowing that he is depositing something good in us. Let us not wait for perfect circumstances to be grateful but to praise Him right now where He has us.
Challenge for today: Start a list of things you are grateful for and add more each day.