The Holy Spirit spoke this to me on 7/13/18— “Gratitude is the key to fulfilling your destiny. Being grateful opens up doors of blessing.”
Gratitude is define in google dictionary as the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Apparently the topic of gratitude is popular among the world of positive psychology research. One researcher defined gratitude as “an emotion that is typically evoked when one receives costly, unexpected, and intentionally rendered benefits, and is thought to play a key role in regulation the initiation and maintenance of social relationships” (Forster et al., 2017). The social aspect of gratitude was touched on by a theologian who said: “if we acquire a good through exchange, effort or achievement, or by right, then we don’t typically feel gratitude. Gratitude is an emotion we feel in response to receiving something good which is undeserved” (Lacewing, 2016). Research is also finding that being grateful has health benefits. A study in 2015 found that heart failure patients who kept gratitude journals showed reduce inflammation, improved sleep, and better attitudes greatly reducing their symptoms of heart failure in just 8 weeks.
Wow, the power in being thankful! Gratitude takes the focus off ourselves. It reminds us that life is precious. I love both of the above definition because they describe the “undeserved favor” or “grace” we receive when we ask Christ into our lives. We were bought with a price (purchased with a preciousness and paid for) 1 Corinthians 6:20. When we practice being grateful, we are meditating on things that are good. This is what followers of Christ are instructed to do.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever, is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things (center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart).
This scripture reveals the power of meditation and the benefits of intentionally thinking on good things. Yes, you can choose your thoughts. The practice of giving thanks lifts our spirit and brings with it feelings of peace. Not only does gratitude lift our spirit, but it can bring healing to our bodies. This is no surprise. God has already told us this promise in His word:
Proverbs 17:22 A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing but a broken spirit dries up bones.
A happy (grateful) heart releases tranquilizing hormones that produce feelings of harmony with others. One such hormone is atrial natriuretic factor. Remember that the bones are where our blood and immune cells are made. A broken spirit is a depressed, stressed, negative, fearful, or anxious one and this continued state can bring on physical illness. Being grateful or being thankful is a practice or something we choose to do. Centering our mind on things above will eventually implant them in our hearts (For as he thinks in his heart, so he is. Proverbs 23:7). Words have power whether they are spoken or thought. What are you meditating on? What are you grateful for? Write down all the things you are grateful for and begin to think on these things. Practice this daily and watch the doors of blessing fly open!
Proverbs 16:24 Gracious words are a honey comb, sweet to the sous and healing to the bones (body and immune system)