About the time I was in the fourth grade, I noticed that my vision was not as it should be. I couldn’t see the white board at the front of the classroom very clearly, and it was becoming more difficult to dodge the dodge ball in P.E. class. When I put on my first pair of glasses, the difference between what I saw before and my new perception was astounding. I could see the teacher’s handwriting from the back of the classroom, and could throw the ball much more accurately.
We may not think about it like this, but this is the way gratitude functions in the Christian life. Gratitude is like a pair of eye glasses which help us to see God and His mercies more clearly.
We see this in Psalm 30. Notice that the entire psalm consists of the overflow of gratitude and praise from David’s heart for who God is and what He has done or him:
“0 Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me” (Ps 30:2).
“Sing praises to the Lord, 0 you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime” (Ps 30:4-5).
“By your favor, O Lord, you made my mountain stand strong…” (Ps 30:7a).
From David’s lips flow praise after praise for God and His mercies that by the end of the psalm, David’s heart is completely consumed with joy in the presence of God. He says, “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness” (Ps 30:11).
This is what gratitude does. It focuses our minds upon the reality of God: His goodness, His wisdom, His strength. Also, it allows us to meditate more deeply upon what He has given us: salvation, spiritual healing, comfort, security, aide, and much more. Gratitude is not just a dutiful expression of obedience to God, it is an optical enhancing gift which increases our spiritual sight of God and all He has done for us.
The gift of living in relationship with God is the greatestjoy that one can experience. So, when gratitude consistently flows from your lips, the result will be an overwhelming increase in your joy in the presence of Jesus Christ.