Gratitude :: By John Lysaught

There is no doubt that the end of this age is nearing. With the fake pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns that sprouted from lies and deception, there came a release spurred on by Satan to attack Christians. I’m not saying they are dragging us into the streets and beating us, but they are flagrantly marginalizing us and doing so more openly now in the U.S.

I am not, nor do I need to, review the way the world is acting towards us because we have all heard it, and many have felt the oppression, pressure of evil, and the world against us. What I want to remind and encourage all to do is to find gratefulness in God, even in these trying times where we are targets of evil and hate just for our belief in the Triune God.

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

Some believers do not heed what the above verse tells them to do. Instead, and let’s be honest here, some believers whine and complain when circumstances are not in their favor. These believers may be new to the faith or long-time followers. It doesn’t matter. Regardless of new or seasoned believers, many only find gratitude in the good times but not the rough times.

When things get rough in life, as they are getting and growing now, it is not the time to turn your back on God. No, it is the perfect time to have gratitude for the things God has done, is doing, and will do. Basically, it is a mindset one needs to have.

When we approach God with our concerns, we need to be prepared to give thanks regardless of what God allows to happen or changes in our journey in this horrid and falling world. Just because we do not get what we want does not mean He does not deserve our gratitude. He does now and always because without Him, we would not exist.

When God positively answers a prayer, how often do we just go with it and forget who answered our prayers without a thought of gratitude? How easy is it to forget who the God of the universe is when we get what we want. And when we do not get what we want, a lot of folks start the blame game.

Who gets blamed? A lot of folks blame God and have not even a drop of gratitude towards Him when a prayer goes unanswered. Animosity towards God grows, and in no time at all, there is no more time in prayer, and there is more dust settling on the cover of the Bible.

But come on, there is so much to be grateful for. I’m not going to list them, but I encourage you to think about them before you pray and ask God for help. Think of His promises and encouragement found in the Bible, for example, and how they relate to you.

I think one thing that we get hung up on that affects our gratitude is listening to those of the world. We live in a society where failure is not our fault but someone else’s, or if we accomplish something, it is by our own power and not by the help of others. And God? He is background noise and more of a last-ditch course of action when all else fails.

When we practice gratitude towards God, we will grow. It would be contrary to God if the opposite happened, so practicing something as simple as gratitude for everything in our lives will lead to a better sanctifying walk with Him.

The more practice of gratitude that occurs, the more we realize how intertwined God is in our lives and how blessed we truly are, even in the middle of trials.

I am recovering from cancer. It was discovered, and I am still dealing with it since April of this year. I made the conscious effort not to be angry at God for this but to give thanks in everything each day since.

Something about having my mortality realized in this way really put things in perspective. The little things that used to irk me before cancer do not seem as important now. Finding gratitude in the things I have – family, shelter, income, etc. – is so much more recognizable and grateful for because I know they are from God.

What is more paramount to me now is my relationship with God. Not a superficial one but a deeper and more sanctifying one than before cancer. Whether my cancer goes in remission until the rapture or I’m taken home before then, I am grateful to God for all I have and all I have done.

The point is, God is gracious enough to give us time in these last days. As we navigate through each day with the challenges and blessings that may cross our paths, are we putting forth the effort to give thanks and be grateful to God for the big and little things in our lives? Or are we just living?