With Thanksgiving coming up, gratitude has been on my mind.

The Bible talks about a thankful heart and gratitude quite often. God expects us to have a heart of gratitude, not one of complaining.

Psalm 105:5 says; Remember, with awe and gratitude, the wonderful things which He has done, His amazing deeds and the judgments uttered by His mouth, on His enemies, as in Egypt.

We see from scriptures like this one that God expects us to have a heart of thanksgiving. That is His desire.

God doesn’t do things or recommend we do things, without reason. If He tells us to have a grateful heart, it is for our best. It will be beneficial to us. God has a good plan for us, one to prosper us and keep us walking in His promises. Gratitude is part of His plan for us.

I love how scientific research is beginning to confirm what God has known all along about gratitude.

I want to share some of the physical, scientific benefits of having a heart of gratitude.

Gratitude, defined as a positive, emotional response, frees us from toxic emotions.

Gratitude wires and fires new neural connections to the bliss center.

Gratitude reduces fear and anxiety by regulating the stress hormones.

Gratitude is proven to be a natural anti-depressant.

Gratitude reduces pain and improves sleep.

As we can see from scientific studies, gratitude is not only good for our soul, it is also beneficial to our physical bodies.

Many people believe happiness brings gratitude, but that is not the truth.

Happiness doesn’t produce gratitude. It’s the other way around, gratitude will produce happiness. It is a grateful heart that brings happiness into our life.

In other words, a thankful, grateful heart must come before happiness.

It seems to me, knowing this, it would be good to purpose in our heart to be thankful each and every day.

As I read how a grateful heart helps with anxiety and depression, I began to wonder about something. I wondered what would happen if a depressed or anxious person began their day by simply writing down 10 things there are thankful for? And then ended their day by again, writing down 10 things they were thankful for from that day. What would happen in the heart of that person?

This week, let’s purpose to have a thankful heart. And not just one day a year – but every day of our life. I realize we cannot be thankful for everything that comes across our path however, we can be thankful in all circumstances. (1 Thess. 5:18)

Let’s choose to have a heart of gratitude, a heart of thanksgiving. In doing so, we will reap the benefits of such a heart.

Meditate on this:
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thess. 5:18

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