Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
The Oxford dictionary defines gratitude as “the quality of being thankful: readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” So how do we show thankfulness to God? How do we show our appreciation and return kindness to Him for all that he has done and continues to do for us on a daily basis?
By having a heart a gratitude.
We should always love God with a heart of thanksgiving and gratitude. Jesus, himself, began and ended his prayers with words of thanks and praise to his Father in Heaven (Luke 10:21). And since Jesus is our teacher, savior, and Master, We should do the same!
We can start by stoping our need to complain. When we complain, we lessen our connection with God by being ungrateful. We are saying to Him: “I am not thankful for all that you have already done. I am not thankful for the prayers you have already answered. I am not thankful for all that you have given me yesterday, today, and will give me for the days to come!” This is not the way for us to show our appreciation to the Father. He deserves our kindness. He deserves our respect. He deserves our gratitude.
We can also show our thanks to our Father in Heaven by being kind and loving to others. It doesn’t take much to show a small act of kindness: a sincere smile, a kind gesture, a gift of food or money, or even simply just giving someone your time who needs it the most. By loving others, we are also loving God and showing Him how grateful we are to be here, at this time, on this beautiful earth, with the fullness and sacredness of life in us, and all around us - for without God, we are nothing.
We should show our Heavenly God gratitude by praying without ceasing. Jesus prayed often and on one occasion, He prayed all night (Luke 6:12). When we are praying to God, we are in constant Holy Communion with Him; I believe nothing pleases Him more.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. ~ Romans 5:3-5.
I have always felt throughout my life that difficult times were merely blessings in disguise. Sometimes God is allowing us to suffer because He is preparing us for something greater that is to come. He is preparing you for battle on His behalf. He has anointed you to do good for His will. He has called you for His purpose (Romans 8:28). Embrace your sufferings, because they are sacred. Always give thanks to God during times of suffering and pain, because He not only has chosen you for His sacred calling, but is also trusting you to do His will.
Gratitude is powerful: it brings us more peace and happiness, more blessings, better health, a peace of mind, and blesses us with the gift of perseverance. Overall, we are stronger, wiser, happier, and healthier people when we priase God with a heart of gratitude: It is the highest form of prayer, deepening our oneness with Him, with His Universe, and with all His world around Us.