Thankful people are people who spend time in the Word of God. If you want to live a life of peace and contentment, live a life in the light of the Word of God. This is essential Christian discipline, yet many still need to follow through on this. Gratitude and the Word of God work together to make us better human beings.
Do you struggle to understand scripture or feel that you “just don’t get anything out of it” when you read the Bible? Adopt a posture of gratitude before God, and you will begin to grasp more in His Word.
The Revelation / Gratitude Cycle
There is an interesting pattern throughout scripture regarding revelation and insight into God’s Word. Thankfulness leads to greater revelation and understanding. Then, greater revelation and understanding lead to more thankfulness. In other words, a posture of thankfulness bookends revelation, coming before and after insight from the Word of God. Gratitude creates a terrific receiving antenna for revelation from God, and it also acts as a terrific repeater for more revelation.
Most of the New Testament is comprised of letters from Paul to the early churches. In nearly every one of these letters to the churches, Paul opened his writings by expressing gratitude.
- Romans 1:8
- 1 Corinthians 1:4
- Philippians 1:3
- 1 Thessalonians 2:13
- 2 Thessalonians 1:3
- 1 Timothy 1:12
- 2 Timothy 1:3
- Philemon 1:3
Why would Paul take the time to document and express gratitude in the openings of so many of his letters? It was not merely a greeting or introduction. He used the principle of gratitude and thankfulness to prep the hearts of the readers in those early churches (and us today) to receive revelation and insight. A heart of gratitude is more receptive to revelation and understanding.
Likewise, when Jesus demonstrated powerful principles and miracles, He often preceded these actions with a word of thanksgiving before God.
- Matthew 15:36
- Matthew 26:27
- Mark 8:6
- Mark 14:23
- Luke 22:17
- Luke 22:19
- John 6:11
- John 6:23
Why? Gratitude empowers a spiritual atmosphere for revelation and understanding in our lives. Thankfulness sets the stage for God to deposit spiritual realities into our hearts and minds, even before our very eyes.
But wait, there’s more!
Gratitude sets an atmosphere in our hearts and minds to receive revelation from God, but after receiving that revelation, our response to God is also one of gratitude.
At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.
Matthew 11:25 (NIV)
The revelation and understanding were received, and Jesus responded with gratitude. The revelation prompts gratitude, and such gratitude expels overly religious perspectives of God.
The lifestyle of gratitude is prophetic, consistently hearing and seeing the way of God.
In the book of Daniel, the prophet was tasked with interpreting a dream from the king of Babylon. Daniel asked God for revelation, and when God revealed the mystery to him, Daniel responded with a song of gratitude.
“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
wisdom and power are his.
He changes times and seasons;
he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him.
I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors:
You have given me wisdom and power,
you have made known to me what we asked of you,
you have made known to us the dream of the king. ”
Daniel 2:20-23 (NIV)
The prophetic frequency of revelation stirs and provokes a sense of gratitude before God. This never-ending cycle spirals upward from our hearts towards heaven, elevating and transforming us along the way.