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Attitude of Gratitude by Liesl Mare

Being a bit of a melancholy person (did I say “a bit”? Maybe more of “a lot”…) I tend to notice the faults and problems before the faith and breakthroughs. My cup tends to be half-empty, not half-full. So, when I was younger and a new Christian, depression was regularly knocking on my door. Life, provision, relationships, and so on, were the determining factors in my attitude. If life was good, I was happy. If life was bad, I was not happy. Quite simple, really.

But as you all know, and this is not a half-empty-glass statement, life can throw you quite a few lemons. Some clever person said to just make lemonade with them but, for me, that did not work! Every time a lemon would hit, I would become sour! That, as you can imagine, was not a very good testimony and, frankly, I was down a lot.

In that season of my life, I wasn’t in a church that believed in the fullness of the Word, salvation and infilling of God’s Spirit. Not having true fellowship, people that could encourage me and show me to the Word, I really struggled. When I discovered a Bible-believing congregation with a passion for Jesus like mine, it started me on a road of steadfastness. Godly fellowship in a Bible-based church is crucial to our spiritual and mental well-being, as I then learnt.

Somewhere in my walk with the Lord, someone gave me a book called ‘Prison to Praise’ by Merlin Carothers. I later even got his book ‘Power of Praise’ that had the testimonies of what happened after the first book. That first book changed my life! It opened my eyes to the principle of thankfulness or gratitude. I love testimonies, and reading what God did in the lives of the people that ‘got’ the principle of praising God in and for everything, changed my life.

Ephesians 5:20 (NKJV)

…giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV)

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

You see, praise and gratitude are not linked to our circumstances at all. If they were, then everyone would have reason to be unhappy all the time! Life can be very unfair and if we wait for things or people to make us happy, we will wait forever!

Gratitude and thankfulness have a beginning – a root. The root is that we actually realise what God did for us by sending His Son! We realise that we are nothing and He is everything. He came to rescue us from a life of slavery and set us free to choose to follow Him. If we truly understand this, our lives overflow with gratitude. We realise Someone completely innocent, with no sin, died a brutal death to ensure that I can live free.

I love what Albert Einstein said:

There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

When we realise that everything is truly a miracle – then we start living with an attitude of gratitude.

Thanking God in the midst of hardship, or lack, is an act of faith – faith that He hears, faith that He cares, faith that He can actually make this work for the best IF I keep holding onto Him. He is ALWAYS praiseworthy; He does not change as our circumstances change. It is in beholding Him that we are revitalised, strengthened and empowered to face whatever comes our way.

Psalms 100:4-5 (NKJV)

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,

And into His courts with praise.

Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

For the LORD is good;

His mercy is everlasting,

And His truth endures to all generations.

When we thank God, we enter His courts – it is an immediate access. He tore the veil to His inner sanctuary when Jesus died on the cross. He made a way for all of us to enter. We can enter boldly.

Thanking God makes things start to happen: thanking God was the catalyst to miraculously feed thousands of men and women with 5 loaves of bread and two fish! (John 6 v 1-14)

2 Corinthians 2:14 (NKJV)

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

God is working in us and through us. There is a promise of triumph! Through us, He diffuses His fragrance of Hope, Love and Righteousness. Let us continually enter His courts with gratitude for this privilege, for what He did for us. He never leaves nor forsakes us; we are never alone – that in itself makes us eternally grateful. Instead of having pity-parties, let’s be a people that have praise-parties, no matter what happens around us! Our God is good all the time and always faithful – what a praiseworthy concept!

So, now I make lemonade when life sends me lemons! And I praise until the sourness turns to sweetness. Let’s make lemonade together because God is good!

Liesl Mare is a regular contributor at Women of Reverence.

Read full bio here

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