The Power of a Grateful Heart

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. COLOSSIANS 3:15 

For his sixth birthday, my son wanted a toy dinosaur. He had been talking about it for weeks, detailing the color, markings, and size as if he had an honorary master’s degree in archaeology. Not to mention, the way he imitated the roar with such volume and aggression made me genuinely fear for his vocal cords. 

Finally, the day came. He opened the gift, and his reaction freaked us out. With fists raised in the air, he yelled “yes!” multiple times and took laps around the house while screaming at the top of his lungs. The level of gratitude was both wild and hilarious. 

Later that night, however, as I was putting him to sleep, he said “Mommy, that dinosaur wasn’t the one I was talking about, but I love this one so much that I’m still happy.” First of all, goodness gracious, I had no idea I still got it wrong. But even though it wasn’t the dinosaur he had in mind, gratitude overflowed his heart so much that it didn’t matter. 

There is such power in a grateful heart. Believe it or not, a grateful heart results in inner peace with everything that goes on in our lives, both the good and the bad. How often do we forget to be grateful for our steady job, yet instead complain about not enough vacation time? How often do we forget to be grateful for our spouse, yet instead microscope every little thing they do wrong? How often do we forget to be grateful for good physical health, yet instead fixate on the superficial features we consider flaws? 

Gratefulness allows us to focus on the gift rather than the grief. It is an eliminator of self-pity and a reducer of depression. It transforms us from being problem-focused to becoming faith-focused. When we practice gratefulness intentionally, even when we don’t feel like it, it results in a deeper level of spiritual maturity. The simple fact that we have a Savior who loved us enough to die for us, gives us good reason to walk in gratitude forever. 

God, despite the hard things in life, I choose gratefulness. Always remind me of Your goodness so my heart can remain at peace. Amen. 

This is an excerpt from Goodness Gracious: 90 Unfiltered Devotions for This Sometimes-Too-Serious Life by Hannah Crews a devotional now available for pre-order on Shop all books, journals, and devotions from DaySpring here.