The Power of Gratitude

"ENTER into his gates with thanksgiving," sang the Psalmist. Gratitude, or a thankful heart, opens the gates of heaven. Jesus recognized the power of gratitude. While waiting for life to be demonstrated for his beloved friend, Lazarus, Jesus uttered the prayer: "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always." The Way-shower was grateful for the presence of God, Life, and he recognized God's child as always at-one with Life. Although a Christian Scientist may not now know enough to make so great a demonstration, he should be grateful for a growing understanding of God as Life. And gratitude for the discernment of the omnipresence and omnipotence of Life will finally lead him forward to conquer "either a desire to die or a dread of the grave" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 426). His grateful acknowledgment of the Father as Life is a great and necessary step toward the final victory over "the last enemy."

The mental attitude of the grateful person is very different from that of the ungrateful one. The individual who cultivates the attitude of thought which recognizes good, and who counts his blessings, can never be discouraged; he remains hopeful, cheerful, and thankful. One who indulges in the opposite kind of thinking is bound to be unhappy, despondent, discouraged, fearful, discordant. Of the two, the former is closer to God and more ready to receive His blessings.

An erroneous mental state frequently makes one think of that which he does not possess, rather than of that which he has and enjoys. Such thinking leads to ingratitude. Suppose one has a problem of lack to solve. If he is uninstructed in Christian Science, he may let his thoughts dwell unhappily on his human needs. He may forget that in the past God has supplied his needs, and that He is still giving him life and the power to think and act. Gratitude for what God is and for what He has done, aids greatly in solving any problem. If one is suffering from sickness, an intense longing and striving for health may avail little; but a thankful thought, which recognizes the blessings already possessed, opens the door of consciousness to the healing truth. If the patient is a student of Christian Science, he has the revelation of this Science for which to be grateful; he has the opportunity to learn that Life is God, and that Life is eternal; he has the evidence of the healing of others to encourage him; he already possesses more blessings than he has yet acknowledged. More blessings still await him; but a grateful heart must prepare him for that which "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard."

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Because We Love
October 22, 1927

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.