Saturday, November 12, 2022

Eight Reasons for Writers to Choose Gratitude Every Day


by Beth K. Vogt @BethVogt

I’ve been bookending my days with hope and gratitude.

I start my days reading the book You’ll Get Through This by Max Lucado, which focuses on the life of Joseph. Lucado started with this challenge:

“Rather than ask God to change your circumstances, ask him to use your circumstances to change you. Life is a required course. Might as well do your best to pass it.”

I end my days with the book Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. She asks the question: Is the gratitude that flows out of your life as abundant as the grace that flows into your life?” 

Hope and gratitude are steadying influences on my days. Circumstances change, my emotions fluctuate, but focusing on hope and gratitude surrounds each day with positivity. 

Recently in Choosing Gratitude, I read eight reasons to be grateful. As we move toward Thanksgiving Day, I thought I’d share those eight reasons with you:

  • 1. Gratitude is a matter of obedience: The theme of gratitude runs through the entire book of Colossians, which happens to be one of my favorite books of the Bible. Consider Colossians 3:17 (NASB), which says, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
  • 2. Gratitude draws us close to God: Being grateful allows us to be close to God. Isn’t that a wonderful truth? “Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.” Psalm 95:2 (NASB)
  • 3. Gratitude is a sure path to peace: So many people I know are seeking peace right now, and even more so as we enter the hectic holiday season. Consider this familiar passage: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) Sometimes when I pray, I tell God what I want, but I skip telling him why I’m thankful. What about you?
  • 4. Gratitude is a gauge of the heart: Until now, I’d never considered how ingratitude is an indicator of my heart-health. “Surely the righteous will give thanks to Your name; The upright will dwell in Your presence.” (Psalm 140:13)
  • 5. Gratitude is the will of God: “… in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) If we’re ever wondering what God’s will is for our lives, we can always start with gratitude. 
  • 6. Gratitude is an evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit: “… always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father …” (Ephesians 5:20) This verse is found in Ephesians 5, that starts with the verse “to be imitators of God” and then continues to describe how to be filled with the Spirit.
  • 7. Gratitude reflects Jesus’ heart: Jesus constantly gave thanks. He gave thanks at the tomb of Lazarus (John 11:41); at the return of the 70 disciples (Luke 10:21); at mealtime (Mark 8); and when facing suffering (Luke 22:17), (Luke 22:19), (Matthew 26:27). 
  • 8. Gratitude gets us ready for heaven: When we read the book of Revelation, we see worship will include giving thanks. Consider Revelation 11:17 (NASB): “… We give thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and begun to reign.”
Which one of these eight reasons to choose gratitude motivates you today?

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Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” Having authored nine contemporary romance novels and novellas, The Best We’ve Been, the final book in Beth’s Thatcher Sisters Series with Tyndale House Publishers, releasers May 2020. Other books in the women’s fiction series include Things I Never Told You, which won the 2019 AWSA Award for Contemporary Novel of the Year, and Moments We Forget. Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, a 2016 ACFW Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RITA® finalist. An established magazine writer and former editor of the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth blogs for Learn How to Write a Novel and The Write Conversation and also enjoys speaking to writers group and mentoring other writers. Visit Beth at bethvogt.com.

4 comments:

  1. Wow. What a great thought to start my day. Thank you for sharing what a great God we have and how bless we are, no matter our circumstances.

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    1. The above is from Tim Suddeth.

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  3. Hi, Tim, I'm so glad today's post encouraged you. Focusing on gratitude, with the help of the book "Choosing Gratitude," as well as returning again and again to the Word, has been so beneficial to me. I'm surprised by how many verses link prayer and gratitude.

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