CHUCK COLSON HAS THIS TO SAY ABOUT GRATITUDE*: The great preacher and American theologian Jonathan Edwards called thanks for such blessings "natural gratitude." It's a good thing, but this gratitude doesn't come naturally -- if at all -- when things go badly. It can't buoy us in difficult times. Nor, by itself, does it truly please God. And, to paraphrase Jesus, even pagans can give thanks when things are going well.
Edwards calls the deeper, primary form of thankfulness "gracious gratitude." It gives thanks not for goods received, but for who God is: for His character -- His goodness, love, power, excellencies -- regardless of favors received. And it's real evidence of the Holy Spirit working in a person's life.
This gracious gratitude for who God is also goes to the heart of who we are in Christ. It is relational, rather than conditional. Though our world may shatter, we are secure in Him. The fount of our joy, the love of the God who made us and saved us, cannot be quenched by any power that exists (Romans 8:28-39). People who are filled with such radical gratitude are unstoppable, irrepressible, overflowing with what C. S. Lewis called "the good infection" -- the supernatural, refreshing love of God that draws others to Him.
And that, more than any words we might utter, is a powerful witness to our neighbors that God's power is real, and His presence very relevant, even in a world full of brokenness as well as blessings.
* from: http://www.christianpost.com/news/grateful-for-god-in-tough-times-51865/
I can plod. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe everything.
- William Carey
My name is Tim Kirkes. I am honored to be the a child of my heavenly Father, the husband of Lisa, the father of two boys and the pastor of San Dimas Wesleyan church.