Colossians 3:16--Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God.
The Greek word for gratitude in Col. 3:16 is the word charisand it is “used adverbially in the sense of with thankfulness, thankfully.” Charis can also mean grace. It is a powerful word in the New Testament.
The quality of being thankful comes when we focus on what we have rather than obsessing on what we don’t have. This year I’ve been sorely tested in this. When I turned sixty I became eligible to receive a pension earned from 36 years of service in the military. Nine months later I have still not been paid because of an arcane rule and a bureaucratic process that is painfully slow. Kathleen and I had no idea this could occur and we were unprepared. The truth is by now we should have lost our home and be in serious financial trouble. But God knew in advance this would happen. Through an incredible unforeseen provision last fall we have been able to pay every bill so far. The good news is we will be back paid eventually by the government but the bigger lesson is not to stress on what is delinquent or fouled up but to rejoice that God is faithful.
When we focus on the message about the Messiah—the truth of grace and God’s faithfulness, no circumstance or disaster can steal our gratitude. Do you believe this? No disease, accident, abuse, trial, wrongdoing, foul play, misfortune, lay off, etc., can rob our ability to live thankfully if our hearts are God-centered. Melody Beattie noted:
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
The world must never set our agenda or flavor our response. We take our orders from heaven. Give up the pity party—it is debilitating. Stop blaming—it only heightens blood pressure. Let go of bitterness—it is cancerous. Start singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. If you can’t carry a tune, who cares! Turn up the radio. Gratitude is like laughter—medicine to the soul. I know this to be true. God puts a new song in my mouth every day. A hymn of praise to Him . . . (Psalm 40:3). Gratitude fulfills attitude. Hallelujah!
In Africa there is a fruit called the 'taste berry,' so called because it changes a person's taste buds in such a way that everything eaten after it tastes sweet. Giving thanks is the ‘taste berry’ of Christianity. When our hearts are full of gratitude, nothing that comes our way will be unpalatable to us. Those whose lifestyle is marked by thanksgiving will enjoy a sweetness of life unparalleled by any other.—Robert Strand in The Power of Thanksgiving
©2019 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)
Key Word Study Bible, Christian Standard Bible © 2017, AMG Publishers, Chattanooga, TN