It’s become commonplace to see cliché sayings about thanksgiving and a grateful heart this time of year leading up to Thanksgiving celebrations. As these banners become more and more fluid in our worlds, it’s easy to brush them off, put them off for later, or we may even find them blending in with the rest of the world’s “junk”.

What if that’s the enemy’s way to keep us stuck in our own little worlds? Keeping us from a posture of praise and thankfulness?

The word gratitude comes from the Latin root gratus which means “pleasing, welcome, agreeable.” It is also the root of related terms such as grace, gratuity, and gratis. This is because of its Proto-Indo-European root, gwere, meaning “to praise, to celebrate; to be in contact with the Divine.” In other words, experiencing gratitude is the equivalent to feeling the presence of the Divine in our lives. In the presence of Jesus, grace abounds.

For me I choose the word gratitude; it tethers me to holiness and grace that comes with this expression of my faith. It keeps my focus on the gifts, lessons, and love of Christ in my life, and allows my actions and deeds to overflow from the heart.

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:15

By grace, I am able to forgive. (Luke 17:3-4)

By grace, I am able to heal. (Rm 3:20-24)

By grace, I am able to serve. (1Peter 4:10)

By grace, I am able to praise. (Rm 11:36)

By grace, I am able to love. (Rm 5:8)

By grace, I am able to live. (Rm 6:14)

I fight by battles with grace and gratitude, and I pray the same for you.

Lord, there are no words to express the gratitude my heart feels for all your workings in my life and the lives of the people I love. You are an active and present God and so desiring of all of our thanks and praise. All that I have is yours, Lord. I ask that you continue to calm our spirits and focus our hearts on things that are above. Help us to take up a posture of gratitude, not just for this season, but each and every day of our lives. Help us to see our relationships, our struggles, and our desires through the lens of grace and gratitude and allow it to change us from the inside out. Amen.