I am writing this on the 1st of January, though by the time you read it 2018 will be in full swing. In any case, I do think it is important that we look back on the previous year with gratitude to God. For some, 2017 would have been a terrible year, for others it would have been a good year. The scripture reminds us that, in whatever circumstance we find ourselves, we should give thanks: “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
There are many things we can be thankful for. The fact is, if you are reading this, you made it and God has granted you the privilege of seeing another year. Many may not have had that privilege. Life and time is the most precious gift that God can give to us, for it is only in time that we can accomplish things. Amy Carmichael once said, “We will have all eternity to celebrate our victories, but only a few short hours to win them.”
Many of the rich and famous who passed last year would have given all they had for a little more time, and yet God has given it to you. This priceless treasure that’s parcelled up into 24 hour segments is a free gift to you, and for that we can be grateful. We can be grateful for the good things that have happened to us in the past year, and grateful for the good things that have happened to our friends and family. To have an attitude of gratitude lifts the spirit and helps you to see each new day as the precious gift that it is.
There is an old saying: “Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone.” I do not think this should be true of Christians, but people do love to be around those who have a positive attitude and can see the good, rather than those with a negative attitude who end up pulling you down. Of course we have to be real and not live a lie, but undergirding it all there should be this attitude of gratitude because, if you know Jesus as your Saviour, you have already found life’s greatest treasure. You have the greatest gift that God has bestowed upon mankind: His love and eternity to be spent with Him.
In Philippians 4:11, Paul said: “for I have learned in whatever situation I am, to be content.” Paul was beaten, imprisoned, shipwrecked, reviled, persecuted, stoned, and finally executed. If anyone had cause to be discontent, it was him. How much more should we be content with that which God has given us?
If you wish to gain a lot in life, then here is the secret: “Now godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6
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