Being thoughtful and being thankful

Every morning, near the start of my prayer time, I do this methodically:

I think of three things that I’m thankful for and for each I give thanks to God. I look for things that happened yesterday or things that are bigger than yesterday, but my feelings of gratitude are usually stimulated by something that happened yesterday.

Recently a friend told me he received a somewhat troubling diagnosis. Each day since then I have been praying for his healing, but I also sincerely thank God for the decades of our rich friendship.

I used to think that we need to give thanks in all things but that we didn’t need to feel thankful. I’ve changed my mind. I’ve decided that, if I don’t feel thankful, how can I call it gratitude?

Recently, I came across this quote from John Piper in an article where he argues that it’s not enough to force ourselves to say thank you to God. He says we should feel thankful. That is what truly glorifies God. He describes the thought process that goes on in our mind that leads to true gratitude:

“1) the appearance of God’s good will toward us in some undeserved benefit; 2) our eyes seeing it as from God; 3) the awakening of a sense of our being undeserving; 4) the awakening of the sweet thankfulness for being loved like this; 5) the expression of our thanksfeeling in thanksgiving.”

John Piper

If you want to see the context for Piper’s quote, it’s a great little one-page Thanksgiving article here:

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Thanksfeeling from all of us at Masterworks!

Steve Woodworth