Thankfulness is a word we hear a lot during this time of year. Another word was gratitude or grateful, which kept appearing to me on items and books around me. I wanted to find out the difference in the meaning of these two words. Thankful means to be pleased and being conscious of a benefit received. Grateful means feeling or showing appreciation for something done or received. They both share a very close meaning and can be used in similar ways. Looking for things to be thankful for is the key to being grateful.
My mother was a good example of someone with a gratitude attitude. She had many reasons to despair due to illness and heart problems. She decided to take the high road and be a blessing to others. Her name was Joy and she was always joyful even through all her trials. When depression and worry would sometimes come, she would continue to read her Bible, pray and look for reasons to be thankful even then. She loved the Lord and knew He had all her days in His hands. She showed an attitude of gratitude because of what Jesus Christ did for her. Many people in my life had that grateful attitude and it made a difference in how they saw their situation and what they found to be important. They looked to God for their strength and even when the answers were not what they hoped for, they still thanked Him. The real answer was that thankfulness had allowed them to trust Him no matter what the outcome.
“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Look for things to be thankful for not only during this Thanksgiving season but every day. Write at least one thing you are thankful for each day and before long you will find you have a good size list. When you feel down look at that list and you will find you are truly blessed. Take it a step further and help someone else who needs to be lifted up. Reach out to others and let them know they are not alone. Use your gratitude to bless others. Being thankful and practicing gratitude can transform your life. It leads to a new outlook and creates happiness in us that overflows to others. Choose gratitude and you choose happiness.
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalms 100:4
Worship can also be another way of expressing gratitude. We show our Lord respect and honor as our creator. Giving Him thanks in the form of praise and worship. Coming to Him humbly and without hesitation to show our thankfulness. Letting our souls soak up the awesome presence of our savior. Nothing can compare to this type of worship and will most definitely make your heart more grateful. As Christ followers we need to show gratitude to Christ for the amazing gift of salvation, He has offered us all. We are first thankful to Him for giving us this gift but later we show gratitude with our actions by following Him. By being thankful we are responding to God’s graciousness and goodness. Gratitude is living out our thankfulness.