40 Days of Prayer – Day One
Attitude of Gratitude
“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for
you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)
An attitude of gratitude puts everything and every circumstance in the proper perspective. It enables us to see the big picture and helps us to focus on God and His glory rather than on ourselves and our personal trials or triumphs. Such an attitude, openly expressed and lived out, sends a powerful message to our family and friends: God is in control and I’m glad He is! We already know the ultimate outcome of life’s circumstances: ” … God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). If we forget this promise, we begin to take God for granted, and an attitude of gratitude is impossible. We can become self-focused and lose sight of what God is accomplishing in the greater scheme of things.
Baking a cake requires using a number of ingredients, which if eaten by themselves, are mostly distasteful: flour, raw eggs, baking powder, etc. But, if these same ingredients are carefully blended together and baked for the right period of time, you end up with a delicious dessert. God is at the “mixing bowl” of our lives. Our “flour and raw eggs” experiences, however distasteful, are the ingredients of a wonderful creation. We can give thanks in all circumstances because of our faith in God, knowing that the end result of all our experiences will be a perfect blend for our good and His glory.
In your family or Sunday School Class, encourage each member to identify at least one good experience and one bad experience they have had recently. Take the time to give God thanks for both, remembering that, from God’s perspective, they are equally beneficial. It may be possible to identify the value of the finished product even as the discussion is going on. Conclude your devotion by reading Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV): “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”