Many people of various faiths and traditions have proclaimed the benefits of being a grateful person. However, it’s one thing to be grateful for the people and circumstances of our life—it’s something else to be grateful as a child of God.
Even when circumstances are at their worst, we have a loving heavenly Father who assures us that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39).
This means that, for the Christian, practicing gratitude is more than a mental exercise that’s good for your health and well-being. And it’s not just about having a positive attitude. Our thankfulness is essential to our sanctification, to living the life God wants to give us. Giving thanks is a powerful muscle that strengthens our faith when we exercise it daily and study God’s Word.
When we practice gratitude, we’re not turning a blind eye to the bad things in our life, but taking heart in the goodness of God instead. As Romans 5:3-5 reminds us, “We also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” So while our circumstances may not change as a result of our thanksgiving, our hearts will.
That’s why we’ve compiled this booklet full of Dr. Stanley’s teachings on thankfulness. We hope the Lord uses this booklet to help you rejoice in all the good He is doing in your life as you pray through every situation with a grateful heart.