Wednesday, January 7, 2009

January 8- Gratitude

January 8- Gratitude
“In everything give thanks for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (I Thessalonians 5:17). Psalm 63:2-7: 2 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. 3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. 5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. 6 On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. 7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

Gratitude was an important concept for Calvin. He said, “We should be grateful most of all for our salvation. Our good works are done not to earn goodness toward us, but so that we may thereby stir ourselves up to trust, invocation and praise of Him.” Inst. 1:14:22 In Calvin’s commentary on Psalm 63:5 he spoke of gratitude as a way to strengthen our hope for the future. Calvin even said that it is because we do not think on the experiences that we had that we don’t grow in our trust in God (Commentary on Psalm 77:13).

Well, I’m still in the beginning of the new year mode. I have started my thank you notes for Christmas. I kept a list of the gifts, and I am truly grateful. I’ve decided that I will write down the gifts and keep them from year to year on my computer- because I tend to forget so easily. Maybe this will help me to think on the experiences and so elicit gratitude. Calvin is right- if you don't think on your experience, remember, and give thanks- we just wash over things for which we should be grateful. I also will try to keep up a summary diary. I have done this for years- writing down some of the important things that happen each year. I looked back on these in my smart phone’s memos. It did cause me to be grateful to God! The old puritans kept journals or diaries. They would look back and see how God led them through. I believe that too! I so easily forget the good things- and I don’t think I’m the only one.

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