Dr. Marc Drake, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church Sun Lakes
The story is told of a man who lived on the border between Wisconsin and Minnesota. For years he had assumed that he lived in Minnesota, but a new survey revealed that he actually lived in Wisconsin. His response? “Thank goodness, I never could bear those cold Minnesota winters!” Here’s a guy who found a positive and grateful way to see things, even if it didn’t make sense.
An attitude of gratitude is of great importance. Yet it’s easy to take for granted the two words most of us use quite regularly: “Thank you.” And while those words are certainly good to say, we should also consider their rich meaning. In Spanish, the expression is “muchas gracias,” or “much grace.” The thought being communicated is: “You have shown me much grace. I don’t deserve your favor and kindness.” In French, the word is “merci,” or “mercy.” And when you speak this word of gratitude, you’re saying, “You have shown me mercy.”
The words grace and mercy, of course, have their origins in God Himself and are the very heart of gratitude. When we use these words in prayers of thanksgiving, we are saying, “You have shown me such undeserved grace and mercy. I am humbled in your presence.” We can certainly understand then why gratitude is repeatedly emphasized in the Bible. It’s the perfect response to the goodness of God and the blessings He lavishes upon us.
Job prayed, “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (42:2). The prophet Isaiah prayed, “O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.” No wonder Psalm 105:1 declares, “Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!”
Let us always remember the true source of our gratitude: God’s mercy and grace has been freely offered to us in Jesus Christ. Apart from Him, we would have no real life at all.
May we say with King David: “I will extol you, my God and King, and bless Your name forever and ever” (Psalm 145:1).