Heart of Gratitude reinforces benefits of appreciation
The philosopher Plutarch writes: “Most people bypass what is good and refreshing in their lives, and habitually focus on the unpleasant, bad elements.”
This, exactly, is what Tofunmi Akinyemi has done in Heart Of Gratitude. Though not a Biblical pamphlet, the book inspires its readers spiritually, teaching them to cultivate a heart of gratitude: having an appreciation for life in the present moment and also counting blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging the abundance already here.
In 10 chapters, 103 pages, she wants her readers to know, like Plutarch, that when you are truly thankful for what you already have and contented with what is – this is a good enough beginning.
With chapters such as The Creator God and Mankind, Created to Glorify God, Tips on Glorifying God, The Heart of Man, A Heart of Gratitude to God, The Benefits of a Grateful Heart, The Consequences of Ingratitude, The Pathway to a Lifestyle of Gratitude, Showing Gratitude to Fellow Mortals and The Greatest Gratitude (TGG), shedissects the forms and ways of showing gratitude, She reveals that humans are expected to always offer quality praise, worship, and thanksgiving to God in all situations.
To her, there is need to be deliberate about showing gratitude to God, stressing that man is expected to worship God by extolling His attributes; praise Him for His wondrous deeds and thank Him for what He has done, is doing and will still do.
Quoting Psalm 146:2 she insists, “we are to offer gratitude to God for as long as we live! I will praise the Lord as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.”
According to her, “we are to thank God for His protection, provision, healing, help, guidance, encouragement, loving Fatherly correction and care, grace for the race, miraculous deliverances from dangers, oppressions, and afflictions. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.”
Concerning tips on glorifying God, she suggests, “we are to glorify God in the beauty of holiness and God must be glorified with the whole heart.”
In comparison, she says: “The Heart of Man’s, condition is crucial to the body and its ability to stay alive.”
She adds that whatever negates the health of the physical heart will also negate the health of the body and vice versa. “In the same way, the condition of the heart of a man will determine the spiritual health of a person, and the ability to live for God. It is not surprising therefore that the Bible says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”
She identifies advantages of heart of gratitude as enhanced mental strength and resilience; joy of the Holy Spirit; good and refreshing sleep; the peace of God, God will honour such person.
She further discloses that a heart of gratitude also plays a major role in overcoming trauma. She says that a 2006 study published in Behaviour Research and Therapy found that Vietnam War veterans with higher levels of gratitude experienced lower rates of post-traumatic stress disorder.”
Speaking further, she notes that obedience to God “includes declaring His praise; constantly offering Him quality praise, worship, and thanksgiving. It is written, “these people I have formed for myself; they shall declare my praise.”
To the author, the greatest gratitude you can give to God is to live in obedience to Him all the days of one’s life. She says, “this means that one must have truly repented from sin, received Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour; and keep growing in Christ till the end. The Bible says: “… He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.”
Continuing, she points out, “the Almighty God has formed human beings for Himself; to do His will and declare His praise! Therefore, after the new birth, we are to live in obedience to God and express His praise all our days! A new heart precedes a grateful heart. It is when you are regenerated that you can be empowered by the Holy Spirit to live for God, and to always be grateful to Him. If you are not born again, or you are a backslider, quickly repent, then give or rededicate your life to Christ now, especially because of your eternal welfare.”
Conclusively, she says a life of obedience to God is glorifying to Him, and that is the way to truly show Him gratitude. With reference to Matthew 5:16, she says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”