Daily Devotional – Thursday, October 7, 2021
"Give thanks always and for everything to God the Father.” (Ephesians 5:20, ESV)
At this time of Canadian Thanksgiving, I am reminded of just how critical gratitude is. Without it, we cannot experience peace, joy or even contentment. Gratitude, or the lack thereof, really does determine much of our perspective on life. With gratitude comes hope, while the absence of gratitude leaves us depressed; gratitude produces contentment, ingratitude encourages the relentless search for more; gratitude allows us to consider the needs of others above our own, whereas ingratitude tends to produce jealousy, entitlement and a ‘me-first’ attitude.
Many of us recognize the need to be grateful, but how do we go about cultivating an attitude of gratitude? By remembering, and even intentionally listing off, the things that we have to be thankful for. And might I suggest that this not be left as an annual event, but become a habitual practice each and every day. Start your day thanking God—for sleep, a warm bed, a roof over your head, coffee in the pot, breakfast, good health, a job, school, and family. End your day thanking Him for bringing you to the end of it, for safety, transportation, friends, water, comfort and all those He has brought you into contact throughout the day. Take time to also thank God for His love, grace, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, justice and care, as well as for His plans for you and for the world. Obviously, this is only a fraction of the list of items that we have to be thankful for and each of our lists will be slightly different.
If we want to enjoy all the things that gratitude infuses into our lives, then developing the habit of giving thanks is essential. Take time to thank God for specifics. When you find yourself grumbling, force yourself to switch your thinking by identifying an item or two that you are truly grateful for. Even when things are not going as we like and life gets hard, there is still so much to be grateful for if we will only take the time to remember.
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!