One of the most powerful spiritual disciplines to search for and develop in your life is “gratitude.”
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT)
When we wake every morning one of the first things we should do is let go of and shake off the disappointments of yesterday. Waking up angry and discouraged about what happened yesterday won’t change the fact that it happened.
A couple of years ago my wife and (then) little baby girl went to surprise our family over in South Africa. A great idea. Unfortunately, everything that could go wrong, except for the plane falling, did go wrong. They had a horrible journey. Initially I wanted to feel angry and disappointed with the airlines, and then I also started feeling regret for letting my family go on their own.
But eventually I realised after talking to them, and them feeling much better, that holding onto the disappointment was pointless and all in my head.
No amount of disappointment would change recent events except for me feeling upset.
The sun still came up and they soon started having a great time. It dawned on me that
disappointment lasts as long as we allow it to.
So, as I reflected on my family’s journey back to Africa, a sense of calm came over me as this great truth settled on me.
I realised that they weren’t cheated out of something; they just had a bad trip, and it happens. But our blessings still outweigh all of that bad experience.
I realised that to live life abundantly every day and live in the Spirit’s power, we MUST get rid of disappointment, discouragement, guilt, and self-judgment.
Our attitude should be,
“This is a new day, and I’m not going to drag the hurts of yesterday into this day. I’m going to start afresh. God’s compassion and mercies are new every morning!”
And do you know why? Because He knows we are going to need a fresh batch today, as we do every day.
I guess that’s why Jesus told his followers not to worry about tomorrow but focus on what matters most; the fact that God is in the process of creating something new that is already among us and in us, and is therefore in control today. Jesus called this, “the Kingdom (of God / Heaven).”
We can therefore live as citizens of that Kingdom every day.
We don’t have to carry yesterday (or tomorrow) around with us for one more second. You simply need to receive God’s love, mercy and forgiveness afresh every morning with an attitude of gratitude. Be open. Be receptive.
And as you do, you’ll find there is power in gratitude.
True prayer, I believe, is expressing gratitude with our whole being.
When we pray (and live) from a place of abundance (having) and not scarcity (wanting and lacking), our prayers are answered in a powerful way. The more we declare in gratitude the more we receive abundantly. The more we ask believing we lack, the less we receive. But if you don’t believe me, go and test it for yourself.
David knew the secret when he declared, “The Lord is my Shepherd, and I have all that I need…” (Ps.23:1). Does it come as any surprise that those words still release hope in people’s hearts today 3000 years later! Only a person that understands what he has in the Creator could have spoken those words. It’s a prayer and declaration bathed in thankfulness and certainty.
So here’s my invitation to you today – start each day with the habit of praying and declaring gratitude in your life, your relationships, work and business. Truly speak it with all that you are. Feel it. Be it. You will be amazed with where it takes you.
May light and peace fill your life.