Colossians 1:9-14 (NIV)

9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

1Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

DEVOTION – Patricia Simmons (Missouri)

Through the years I’ve learned that making gratitude lists helps me stay more positive.  I use the alphabet, thanking God for something that begins with each letter.  Sometimes I thank God for people form the Bible – Abraham, Benjamin, Caleb.  Sometimes I use scripture verses alphabetically, such as :  “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”  “Create in me a clean heart, O God.”

Recently a friend told me that she makes a “grumpy gratitude” list in the spirit of 1 Thessalonians 5:18.  My friend looks for reasons to be thankful in every situation.

Not long ago I had a door-slamming day.  After slamming three or four doors, I remembered my friend’s practice and paused to begin a grumpy gratitude list.  I thought, OK God, I’m grateful that slammed doors ease frustrations.  I’m grateful for doors that keep heat in during the winter and open to let the cool breeze in during summer.  My list continued, turning my door- slamming day into a blessing.  The grumpy gratitude list helped me recognize how much I had to be thankful for that I had not noticed just moments before.

Even when it appears there is nothing to be grateful for, we can find something for which to thank God.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: What’s on my “grumpy gratitude” list today?

PRAYER: Whether we are glad or grumpy, God, help us always to be aware of that for which we can be grateful.  Amen. 

PRAYER FOCUS: FOR A MORE GRATEFUL HEART.

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