Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Guest Post: Expressions of Gratitude

Editor's Note: I am so grateful (hehe) to be bringing you a new guest post today! Since the wedding is right around the corner I thought I'd feature some lovely ladies that I think you should know. So without further ado, meet Tanya. Tanya and I met a couple years ago in beautiful Colorado during our training for Navigators Staff. She exudes peace and joy wherever she goes. Tanya lives in the Midwest with her husband, David, who is attending Medical School. Their life so far has been everything but what they have expected or even hoped. Tanya’s blog, Blissfully Sweet, is an avenue for her to express the joys of life happening now. There is joy in life. And it is meant to be shared and celebrated. 

Expressions of Gratitude

I first started blogging to document things I was grateful for. When I first started my journey to cultivating a heart of joy based on truth and thanksgiving, I had no idea what I would discover. I did not realize the darkness of my ungrateful heart and did not know the profound intimacy thanksgiving would create with my Savior.

I read books related to the topic of thanksgiving. Many of which challenged my thinking and increased my knowledge about the discipline. If you haven’t read 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp or Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, I suggest ordering either book now. Although these authors’ wisdom helped me grow in this area, the reflection of thanksgiving in the Spirit of Jesus is what made me choose to have gratitude in my life (because let’s face it, if we are not thankful, we are choosing to be ungrateful and discontent).

Jesus’ expressions of gratitude in the gospels provide practical application to cultivate a heart of thanksgiving.

Jesus expressed worship and awe.After the return of the 72 in Luke 10, "he [Jesus] rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, ‘I thank you Father...’" Jesus was in awe of the Trinity’s work and his response was to thank the source.

Singing to the Lord is a wonderful aid in worshiping and expressing thankfulness. “Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre!” Psalm 147:7. Some of my favorite songs to sing are “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman, “It Is Well With My Soul” by Horatio Spafford, and “The House of God Forever” by Jon Foreman.

Jesus expressed trust and surrender to God’s will. Many of us are familiar with the story of Lazarus in John 11; how Jesus raised him from the dead. But what I have overlooked so many times is found in verse 41, “And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me.’ “ He expressed “thanks” before he commanded Lazarus to come out. How often do we give thanks as an afterthought?

Doesn’t the test of faith and act of surrendering to God’s will happen without knowing the outcome? Gratefully trust Him with all things.

“Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

A great way to foster all things is to keep a journal of things to be thankful for.

Jesus expressed sacrifice and service. Knowingly at the end of Jesus’ life, in the midst of betrayal and a trial that would lead to his crucifixion, He gave thanks (Luke 22:17,19) at the Last Supper. He was grateful for the sacrifice he would make and the service he was sent to complete for our justification and salvation. We too can express gratitude and speak up, offering sacrifice and service for the sake of the gospel.

“One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.


“They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness. They shall pour forth the fame of your abundance goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.”
Psalm 145:4, 6–7

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