We recently attended the dedication service of our great granddaughter which focused on the above text. On such a joyous occasion one could feel deep gratitude to God for the gift of the tiny life we had gathered to celebrate. However we were faced with a question, “Gratitude or Attitude?” Do we give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for us (1 Thessalonians 5:17), or is our general attitude one of grumbling and discontent? Some circumstances are extremely hard; the Bible doesn’t speak of giving thanks for the circumstances, but giving thanks to God in the circumstances, for His presence, help and unchanging nature, as we pass through them.
Gratitude seems to be an in word just now. It’s sometimes quoted as ‘The key to relationships’. I’m told there are sixty-three gratitude apps in the apple store, and over twenty thousand books and audio guides available, giving advice on how to develop gratitude. However, gratitude in the heart of a true believer isn’t simply a good thing to do, something we develop to make us feel better. It’s a fruit of the Holy Spirit, who reveals God’s great goodness to us, whatever the circumstances of life.
God’s no ordinary giver. He delights to hear His children call Him by His name, ‘Father’. He is called the ‘Father of the heavenly lights’. He created the heavenly bodies which give light to earth. Magnificent as these are, they change and shift their position, but the Creator of them, who’s our Father, never changes His position. Because His nature is changeless, in His giving, He’s changeless. Whenever we come to Him in our need, He’s always willing and available. The intensity of His goodness and generosity outshines the sun.
Our Father is a bountiful giver – freely pouring out what we could never deserve or earn. Because He’s absolutely steadfast in nature and purpose, we can trust Him implicitly. In our faithful, unchanging God we experience security, true hope and unfailing love, which can’t be found anywhere else, however far we search.
The ultimate expression of His selfless love is that, in the person of His Son, He gave Himself. The gift of Jesus is incomparable. It’s the greatest gift ever given, and true believers can no longer live with a self-centred attitude, but will show their gratitude for all they’ve received by making Jesus known to a broken world.
Prayer: Dear Father, I give thanks to You today for Your bountiful generosity and Your unchanging nature. Please open the eyes of my heart that I might know You better and be filled with an increasingly real attitude of gratitude for Jesus, for all He’s done to make me Your child, and for every blessing You’ve poured upon me. Please use me for Your glory as I live my life today. Amen.