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By Pastor Nat Crawford

Time seems to go faster as I grow older. Have you noticed that? I was recently scrolling through pictures on my phone and came across a trip to Branson from a few summers ago.

We had a blast.

But within the happy memories, I also remember a battle between gratitude and attitude. There was the excitement of a new roller coaster colliding with a ten-minute wait. *Grumble* We were hungry, so we’d grab a snack, but it wasn’t the snack everyone could agree on. Grumble* Finally, it was time to leave, so we wouldn’t go on that ride for the sixth

time. *Grumble*

As a parent, I grew frustrated by this rollercoaster of emotions. But that night as I wrestled with this, I recognized that we, as God’s children, often have the same problem: We focus on what we don’t have instead of the unfathomable blessings of what we do have! So, if you struggle with gratitude in this crazy time, let me offer you some encouragement.

Every Christian can be grateful because of these four gifts!

Life. “The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away” (Psalm 90:10). Every day I wake up, I am thankful. To have breath in my lungs is a gift from God. To be able to watch the

sunrise is a blessing. To see my kids off to school is grace. To enjoy the cool breeze on my skin is a gift. The gift of life is a reason to celebrate.

Family. “He predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will” (Ephesians 1:5). For reasons we’ll never know, God adopts us into His family. That means we are never alone. We have the Holy Spirit inside us. We have

Christ beside us. We have the body of Christ around us. We have God watching over us. The gift of family is a reason to rejoice.

Provision. “And my God will fully supply your every need according to his glorious riches in the Messiah Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). “One more” seems to be the philosophy of the day. We can feel like we never have enough, we need just one more! But the Apostle Paul rejected that notion. He learned to be content in all things. That is the key to being thankful for God’s provision. When we learn the difference between our wants and needs, we will cultivate an attitude of gratitude. So today, remember what your needs are and recognize God provides for them. Then remember, through Christ everything is grace. When we see God’s grace in and through our lives, we will thank Him continually.

Eternity. “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’” (Revelation 21:3-4) This is the pinnacle of God’s grace. By God’s grace, we become heirs of the King. By God’s grace, we have peace with God. Because of

God’s grace, we will reign with Christ forever. In the future, all will be right. Eternity with God is THE reason we can be grateful every day.

I don’t know what challenges and disappointments you face. But we know that we can be grateful because of life, family, provision, and eternity. Today, take a moment and thank God for each one of these realities. Each day identify one blessing from God. Then tell one person about that gift. We will win the day when we focus on God’s grace and share it!

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