The Christian grace of gratitude

The grace of gratitude is one of the great blessings of the Christian life. Gratitude heightens our awareness of the good already in our lives and prepares us to receive more. It can help even a life that appears barren of good be like a bud that blossoms into a beautiful rose—a life full of abundance that can be lifted up to be a blessing for others. This can happen when we entertain unceasing gratitude as we walk and talk with God.

Gratitude plays an essential role in our communion with God. The Bible tells us, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name” (Psalms 100:4). Gratitude opens our thought and makes us more receptive to God’s law of redemption and healing. God is the source of all good and is already “pouring forth” good in our lives—even “more than we accept” (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 2). Gratitude enables us to recognize God’s communications to us—the ideas that come to our thinking as His angel messages of guidance and healing—and to be blessed by them. 

This was illustrated in the experiences of Jacob in the Bible (see Genesis 28:10–22). In a place that he later called Bethel, where he slept with a stone for his pillow, Jacob dreamed of a ladder to heaven with angels ascending and descending on it. I like to think of the ascending angels as Jacob’s increasing gratitude for and worship of God. They prepared him to hear, follow, and benefit from the descending angels, which could represent God’s messages to Jacob, telling him, in this instance, what land He would give him, how numerous Jacob’s descendants would be, and that He would always be with him.

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Buoyed by being grateful
November 25, 2019

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