Thanksgiving with a heart of gratitude – Part 8
The story of the 10 lepers is a familiar one we all know. What differentiates the Samaritan leper from the other nine lepers Jesus healed was his heart and attitude. He had a heart of gratitude the others didn’t have, which was why he returned to the Lord to express thanksgiving. Our heart reveals who we are. Our heart reveals our character. The state of the heart is so important during Thanksgiving. The songwriter says, “I will enter his gates with thanksgiving in my heart…” And Psalm 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart — These, O God, You will not despise” (Psalms 51:17 NKJV).
A heart of gratitude appreciates God’s mercies, no matter how small the blessings may be. A heart of gratitude is thankful to God. A heart of gratitude is always joyful. A heart of gratitude rejoices before God. A heart of gratitude is humble in praise (Psalm 51:17).
A grateful heart gives heartfelt praise to God (Psalm 9:1; 111:1; 138:1). A heart of gratitude always recollects the past of what God has done. Psalm 103:2 says, “Bless the LORD, O my soul and forget not his benefits.”
A heart of gratitude does not measure God’s love by tangible things alone, but also by the intangibles blessings of life. The heart of gratitude appreciates that it is not always that things work out fine, and therefore, also rejoices when things don’t work out well. He rejoices when the sun shines on us and when the sun does not shine on us. He rejoices when it rains and when there is no rain. He rejoices when there is a bountiful harvest and when there is famine. Habakkuk says, “Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labour of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls— Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation” (Habakkuk3:17-18 NLT).
A heart of gratitude will always return with sacrifices of thanksgiving to God (Psalm 116:12-17). Hannah had a heart of gratitude, and this was why she returned to the temple to say to Eli, “I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to the Lord.” (1 Sam.1: 26).
The woman Jesus met in the Pharisee’s house in Luke 7 had a heart of gratitude, which was why she came to Jesus to lavishly show her affection. She washed Jesus’ feet with her tears, wiped them with her hair, kissed Jesus’ feet, and anointed His hair with oil, all because Jesus forgave her sins. (Lk.7: 39).
Jehoshaphat had a heart of gratitude, hence he returned to thank God after God gave him victory over the three nations that invaded him (2 Chro.20: 27).
David had a heart of gratitude hence he led Israel to return to thank God and gave generously towards the building of the temple. (1 Chro.29: 8-20).
Moses had a heart of thanksgiving, which was why he mobilised the children of Israel to praise God after they miraculously crossed the Red Sea (Exodus 15).
In this season of thanksgiving, let us come before God with gratitude in our hearts. Like the songwriter says, “Let us enter into his presence with thanksgiving in our hearts.”