10 Good Things About Gratitude

How Thankfulness Benefits Everyone

By Charles F. Stanley
  • November 17, 2017

Gratitude to God not only honors Him, but is good for us (Ps. 92:1). In the Old Testament, He used the sacrificial system to teach His people to be grateful. When He established the Hebrews as His nation, He gave them very specific and detailed instructions concerning His laws and sacrifices so they’d know how He wanted them to live. Through these ordinances, He taught them three important truths: (1) God is holy, (2) man is sinful, and (3) obedience is essential.

Because Jesus was the final sacrifice, we are no longer required to offer animal sacrifices. However, the principles the Lord taught through the sacrificial system are still true and applicable for us today. One of the offerings He prescribed was called a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and it was performed every morning and evening (Lev. 22:29-33). The twice daily offering reminded the Hebrews that the Lord was the one who brought them out of Egypt and gave birth to them as a nation. He alone saved, kept, and provided for them just as He does for us today.

Should we do less than the Hebrews—giving thanks to God every morning and evening in recognition of Him as the source of everything we have? One of His most precious provisions is His written Word, which instructs us and reveals everything we need to know about the Lord. Our gratitude for it can be gauged by our attention to it. If we’re truly thankful for His Word, we’ll diligently read it each day.

True, heartfelt, daily thanksgiving has a powerful impact on our lives. It results in a changed mindset and a desire to obey the Lord. Consider how gratitude:

  • Keeps us continually aware that we are walking in God’s presence. This contributes to a godly lifestyle.

  • Motivates us to look for the Lord’s purposes in everything in our lives. Even if we don’t understand what He’s doing, thanking Him lifts the burden.

  • Helps us bring our will into submission to His when we suffer pain or loss. By thanking Him in the midst of our pain, we acknowledge His loving sovereignty.

  • Continually reminds us that He is our God and motivates us to tell others about Him.

  • Reminds us of our continuing dependence on Him.

  • Helps us trust the Lord. Because He alone knows what’s best, we can thank Him even if we don’t understand why something’s happening. God honors our thanksgiving the most when we feel like we have the least reason for gratitude.

  • Is essential for rejoicing in the midst of suffering. When the bottom drops out of our lives and everything looks dark, songs of praise and thanksgiving restore our hope, assuring us that God is the Light in our darkness.

  • Removes anxiety. Gratitude can drive out worry.

  • Keeps our focus on the Lord. The situation may not change, but our attitude will.

  • Energizes us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Having a grateful heart keeps our minds focused on the Lord. The daily thanksgiving sacrifice was a continual reminder to the Hebrews that their God provided for all their needs. Likewise, each morning is an opportunity to thank the Lord for a good night’s sleep—and even if we tossed and turned all night, we can still be grateful that He’s given us another day!

This article is adapted from the Sermon Notes for Dr. Stanley’s message “Thanksgiving Every Day,” which airs this weekend on TV.

Related Topics:  Goodness  |  Worship  |  Joy

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What happens to my notes

1 It is good to give thanks to the LORD And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;

29 When you sacrifice a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the LORD, you shall sacrifice it so that you may be accepted.

30 It shall be eaten on the same day, you shall leave none of it until morning; I am the LORD.

31 So you shall keep My commandments, and do them; I am the LORD.

32 You shall not profane My holy name, but I will be sanctified among the sons of Israel; I am the LORD who sanctifies you,

33 who brought you out from the land of Egypt, to be your God; I am the LORD."

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