Gratitude is not a reasoned response to how good my present condition is making me feel.
I am commanded to be grateful always FOR everything! Ephesians 5:20
Gratitude is the act of worship that:
sees beyond my present or past circumstances to the God who has the last word
chooses to say thanks for those circumstances because my God is bigger than the circumstances and he has the last word, and the first and the middle words.
I am to praise him even when my mind can see nothing to praise, but then I am to ask God to forgive me for not seeing and ask him to open my eyes.
I am not only to be thankful for the outcome, or that things could have been worse, but for the difficult and painful process of living for God in this sin damaged world. A struggle which allows my life to release spiritual power into the world, bring God glory, lay up treasure in heaven etc.
Gratitude is a powerful weapon to ward off the devil’s attempts to bring me into the bondage of fault finding and the gathering of picky negative observations. These would sap my energy and give me an abraisive spirit that would block ministry.
Gratitude is my way of poking my finger in the devil’s eye when he trys to bring fear of bitterness. I can make him sorry for trying to trip me up by launching into a recital of all the beauty, wonder, acts of kindness, opportunities to minister, creativity I have seen around me recently and to loudly proclaim that I highly suspect that God is up to much good and I can see his hand in this too.
In order to become a warrior equipped with specific observations of the Acts of the Holy Spirit in my life, I have to see and remember what God has done. I need to carry this recent history of his acts and share the wonder of his wisdom love and power with all who will listen. I take time, at lunch, supper , and bedtime to pause and ask the Lord to open my eyes and heart to see something of beauty worth or goodness: then I bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name.