11 You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
12 that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!
Psalm 30:11-12 (NLT)
We have come to the subject of gratitude. In this article, I will define gratitude as being grateful to God for all the things we already have in our possession and all the past events in which he has delivered us. In short, having gratitude means adopting a habit of thanking God for all good things. I am going to show you in this article that such a habit is important for our prosperity to come true and to the manifestation of our prayers.
The act of giving thanks to God is not something new to me. Even when I was in a religious church, I gave thanks to God every Sunday in church. It was a ritual to me. I gave thanks to God because it was my duty as a Christian to do so. Everyone was doing it. If I did not do the same, I was afraid that God would not be happy with me. When God is not happy, he might show me his sufficient grace (perversion) like giving me a disease known as “thorn in the flesh”. So, I gave thanks to God in order to avoid the predicament of having to receive his “sufficient grace”.
After I have known the truth that God is not a pervert, I was set free. I no longer live in fear that if I do something wrong or not doing certain things, God will not do perverted things on me in the name of showing me his “sufficient grace”. As such giving thanks to God is no longer a ritual. In fact, I have not given it much attention in my lifestyle. After all, God will never do perverted things on me if I don’t give thanks to him.
It was only in the past few months that I have realized that gratitude is an essential component to attain prosperity. The greatest revelation I received come from a book “The Science Of Getting Rich” which is freely available in the blogroll on the right side of this web page. Let me give you a portion of it.
“Many people who ordered their lives rightly in all other ways are kept in poverty by their lack of gratitude. Having received one gift from God, they cut the wires which connect them with Him by failing to make acknowledgement.
It is easy to understand that the nearer we live to the source of wealth, the more wealth we shall receive; and it is easy also to understand that the soul that is always grateful lives in closer touch with God than the one which never looks to Him in thankful acknowledgement.
The more gratefully we fix our minds on the Supreme when good things come to us, the more good things we shall receive, and the more rapidly they will come; and the reason simply is that the mental attitude of gratitude draws the mind into closer touch with the source from which the blessings come.”
Source: Chapter 7-Gratitude, The Science Of Getting Rich.
This is the best description I have found on the importance of gratitude. In short, being in the attitude of gratefulness creates a mentality of faith and positive expectation. When you are grateful, you are positive, joyful, filled with hope and faith. We don’t have to make separate efforts to be positive or joyful. Once we are in the mode of gratefulness, we will automatically have all these things.
In yesterday’s article, I wrote that God will never say “no” to anything we ask for in prayer. The only factor that determines whether we get what we pray for is our faith. Do you believe you receive when you pray? So, you are the decision maker on whether you will get what you pray for. You need to be in faith. Being in the attitude of gratitude helps us to be in faith.
The next question is how to be in gratitude. Let me give you some practical advice.
Take out a piece of paper and write down 100 things that you want to thank God for. The things that you write must be based on facts, not faith. They must have happened and existed physically. Why must there be 100? The answer is I suspect none of us can think of 100 things immediately. When we do this assignment, we will have to think back in the past to dig out the good things that has happened to us. This will cause our minds to be filled with good thoughts. We will become positive automatically.
When I first did this exercise, I became aware of the things I used to take for granted. I realize that even in my darkest moments, God was still with me and delivered me. He had always been with me. I began to see God’s track record of faithfulness in my life. This increases my faith. If God could do so many good things for in the past, he will certainly do so in the future. I can now live with greater confidence and faith that I can overcome all the troubles that I am facing now because he who is in me is greater than he who is in this world. I believe that I will receive whatever I ask God for in prayer and I will receive whatever I ask God for in prayer. The same can happen to you if do this assignment.
Here is a disclaimer. When I say good things, I mean good things. I am not referring to the theological perversion like thanking God because God makes me sick to show me his sufficient grace or God caused a car to knock on me to break my legs in order for me to have good rest. These are perversions from theology that come from the pit of hell. In short, good means good, period.
The second thing I would like to suggest is to make it a habit to say the magic word “thank you” everywhere you go. When you buy a cup of coffee, say “thank you” to the person who serves you. When you take a taxi, say “thank you” to the driver. When you pay for the purchases in a supermarket, say “thank you” to the cashier. These are the people God has put in place to make your life more comfortable on earth. It cost you nothing but it is able to change your entire outlook in life. The recipients of your “thank you” may or may not have a better day but the bottom line is you are the main beneficiary of it. The more “thank you” you give away, the deeper you are in the mode of gratitude.
My third suggestion is to find the good things to thank God for even when you are in a bad shape. Nothing can be perfectly bad. There must be some microscopic good even in the midst of a negative situation. Let me give you an example.
Suppose you are in need for a car. You don’t have the money for it and you have been praying for God to give you a car. Right now, you are relying on public transport like busses. You find the bus system in your place to be extremely bad. Every time you think of the busses you have to take, you can find all sort of bad things about it.
Now, I want you to look deeper. You are still alive, are you not? This means the buses you have taken have done successful jobs in transporting you safely. You are still working and receiving a regular salary, are you not? This means the buses you have taken have done successful jobs in bringing you to work and back. Don’t you think you should thank God and the bus company for the busses you have taken? From now on, make it a practice to say “thank you” to the bus driver each time you take a bus. This will set your mind into a positive mode. You will no longer think negative about the busses you take. Instead you will fell happy and grateful whenever you see a bus. Your life will change immediately.
Some people might wonder that if you become so grateful for the busses, will God cancel your prayer for a car? After all you are already happy. The answer is absolutely not. When we are in a grateful mode, we will only move up to the higher level. If you are presently happy and grateful for the busses you are taking, you will certainly have the car you desire. In addition, if you read my yesterday’s article, there is no provision in Mark 11:24 on God’s option to say “no” to our prayers. God only has one answer to all our prayers and the answer is “yes”.
In conclusion, make gratitude a part of your life. Your prosperity will come faster and in greater amount.