“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” Psalm 42:11 ESV
– by Tom Caballes
Our mindset or perspective in life affects the way we view life itself. Some people live their lives with a sense of entitlement – that life owes them every good thing, and when trouble comes, they cannot cope. Some people live their lives as kings and queens, while others feel unvalued and unloved.
As Christians, what mindset should we have? It should be based on gratitude to God. God could not have made us. But out of His opulent love for us, He created us, hoping that we would love Him back. He did not only create us; He provided everything else for us. And because we cannot rescue ourselves from our rebelliousness, He sent His Son Jesus to redeem us, so that we can spend eternity with Him. He also sent the Holy Spirit to us as our guide.
Our daily lives ought to be filled with a sense of deep thanksgiving to God. We owe God every big and small thing we have and who we are. God’s unfathomable grace surrounds us. Have you imagined life would be without God?
So How Do We Develop a Mindset of Gratitude to God in Our Daily Lives?
- Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7 ESV) There is a reason to rejoice always in Godregardless of your feelings circumstances. Even at the most difficult times, we can thank God. The Lord is near.
- Know and acknowledge that everything comes from God. We are totally dependent on Him. In a way, we do not own and be proud of anything. All our talents, riches, wisdom, abilities, and intellect belong to God.
- Know that in life, there will be good times, and there would be bad times – even if you are a Christian. Nothing will be perfect in life on this side of eternity. We still live in a broken and sinful world. We still struggle with our fleshly desires. Balance your mindset based on the truth and not on your emotions or circumstances.
- Challenges and trials test what we are made of inside. It tests our values and priorities in life. It also tests how much trust do we have with God that He is in control, and all things will work out for our good.
- Appreciate how blessed you are. You are an overcomer and a victor once you said yes to Jesus. Do not give in to fear, hopelessness or despair. God is with you wherever you go. God will never abandon you.
- Have a mindset of a victor and a conqueror in life. What then shall we say to these things?If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32 ESV) No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:37 ESV) With God, you can overcome any challenge in life.
- Develop an attitude of gratitude to God for everything in life. In big and small things, in wins and losses, give thanks to God. Do not take God’s blessings for granted – your family, relationships, and all the good things He blesses you. Let your gratitude to God transform you from inside – to make you more loving, peaceful, kind,compassionate, understanding, and so on – in other words, you become more and more like Jesus.
Other Scripture passages:
- Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. (Psalms 136:1 ESV)
- Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV)
- I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together! (Psalms 34:1-3 ESV)
- This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalms 118:24 ESV)
- Other Bible verses: Psalm 100:4; James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 1: 6-8;
For personal reflection or group sharing
- At times, do I feel I have a sense of entitlement?
- How can I grow more in living a life of gratitude to God?
Tom Caballes is the National Senior Administrator and a branch leader for the Lamb of God, a national community of the Sword of the Spirit with 7 branches located throughout New Zealand. Tom also leads Kairos New Zealand, an outreach program for high school, university, and post-university aged people. Taken from Living Bulwark February 2020. Used with permission.