Thankful and Grateful
Gratitude is the feeling of being thankful. We give thanks by expressing our gratitude for what someone did for us.
These are two words often used interchangeably and are very important to those who profess faith in God through Jesus Christ.
Often we give thanks to God when things are going well for us. It is so easy to be ecstatic and full of praise and thanks to God when we get that new job or get an unexpected raise at work. You do not need to persuade a couple who had waited for years before they were blessed with a child, to give thanks to God.
When however things are not going well for us, do we thank God or express gratitude? Do we even think there is any reason to give God thanks when we are faced with disappointments and adverse conditions?
Not too long ago, I lost a substantial sum of money to ATM fraudsters. Quite naturally, my initial response was sadness for this loss. I could not fathom why I would suffer such loss especially when a few days before this time, I was in a discussion with some of my colleagues about loss of money through ATM fraud and I was professing faith in God’s ability to secure my finances.
After my initial reaction however, I began to think about God’s faithfulness. I began to see reasons to be thankful. The amount I lost, though significant and substantial, it did not cripple me financially. This same sum of money was far more than what I earned in a whole year in my former employment. If I had lost a tenth of that amount three years ago, I would have been in serious financial trouble. The more I thought about this, the more I gave thanks to God. Since then, God has continued to meet our needs in unusual ways. I still do not know why I lost that money but it has helped me appreciate God for how He has increased me financially in the last three years.
In Gen 37, Joseph had a dream which placed him over and above his brothers. Telling his brothers about his dream was the beginning of adversity for him. Rather than being elevated, he was humiliated, sold as a slave to the Midianites who in turn sold him to Potiphar. The way up for Joseph was the way down. Eventually, his dream came to pass and he became the source of provision for his brothers and father through the period of famine. One thing that is important for us to learn, was Joseph’s response to his brothers’ fears of revenge after their father died. He said, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children." And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them. (Gen 50:19 - 21)” He recognized that God took him through adversity in order to preserve the whole nation of Israel!
When we learn to be grateful in adversity, God reveals in due course, the reason for the circumstances you are facing and will surely guide you from adversity to victory. When we however grumble and complain like some Christians do, we lose focus of God’s plans and design for us.
What adverse situation are you facing today? Praise your way through it. You will be surprised at the results!
Steve O. Popoola
© August 2009, Biblepraise Fellowship Online.
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the webmaster of Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. British by birth, He currently resides in Lagos, Nigeria with his wife Maris and their children; Praise, Stephanie and Precious. He works as an IT professional in a bank. He presently serves as Church Secretary and Heads the Music Ministry in his local church . He loves to encourage and inspire through speaking forums. He is the Moderator/Editor of Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address, email@example.com