Gratitude is a positive emotion that involves being thankful and appreciative of what is given to us or done for us. It is also a feeling that spontaneously emerges from within, not simply an emotional response but a choice that we make to be appreciative. Gratitude sometimes does not come easy because there are many times, we look at what we are lacking and think our prayers are not yet answered while ignoring the treasures in front of us. There are also times we think we know what is best for us, and we try to achieve it with our own strength. However, when the time is right, the miracle worker, the unchangeable changer, the “Alagbada Ina”, steps into the situation and begins to align circumstances to favor us, His children. Then we are amazed and our heart leaps with joy and suddenly we cannot stop showing gratitude or appreciating God. This is when we know we do not have what it takes to make things happen unless the Lord works through us and with us. We will become like them who dream dreams because things have started falling in pleasant places (Psalms 126:1).
Our God is good and greatly to be praised. The psalmist said: “We bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord as we offer onto Him the sacrifices of thanksgiving and of praise”. Personally, when I think of the goodness of God in my life, I shake my head and wonder why the Lord is so mindful of me. Therefore, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, month by month, year by year, until the lord tarries, I will forever be grateful for His grace, mercy and love over me and my family.
How do we show our gratitude to the almighty? By being grateful every second of our life, by not bickering, murmuring, or complaining, by appreciating each new day as it comes. Thanksgiving is also a way to show gratitude, because when we thank God about His goodness in our lives, it shows that we cherish or appreciate what we have received from the Lord. Telling people of what the Lord has done in the form of testimonies is another way of showing our gratitude to God. Listing so many things we are grateful for, like counting our blessings and naming them one by one and seeing what the Lord has done, helps us keep focus and keep things in perspective.
Serving one another and lending a helping hand is another way of showing gratitude. At a toll booth in West Virginia, there is a slogan “Paying it forward”. There are times the car in front of you will pay your toll fee and when it is your turn to pay, the attendant lets you know your fee has been paid by the person who was in front of you. Even though it is a small token, it still gladdens the heart knowing a stranger who does not know you can pay your toll. I have also tried to emulate that stranger occasionally when I go through the toll booth and pay for the car coming behind me. We are all called one way or the other to serve one another; the stranger did his part, and moved on and I believe the Lord who is a rewarder of good, blessed that person. Sometimes we should try to look for ways to alleviate others’ burden if possible. Everybody can do a little of something. We are called to love one another and share each other’s burden. Every time we do this, it shows that we also appreciate the good deeds that have been directed at us. In Philippians 2:17, the Bible lets us know that “our faithful service is an offering unto the Lord”. Christ himself said “the son of man has come not to be served but to serve” – Matthew 20:28.
There was a woman in the Bible named Dorcas. The Bible tells us that she was so faithful. Helping the poor, serving wherever the need may be, to the point that when she died the people called unto Peter, interceding for the dead woman, telling Peter what good she had done while she was alive, and the Lord brought her back to life through Peter. I will say her works spoke for her. Brethren, what can people say about you today? We need to serve wherever we find ourselves. While at work, let us serve as unto the Lord. At home, let us serve as unto the Lord. At Church let us serve as unto the Lord. Serving people is serving God, and we serve God because of His mercies towards us. It is a form of gratitude. So, my brothers and sisters, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” – Galatians 6:9. God bless you all.
March 27, 2022 – Pastor Toyin Odunaiya