This past weekend we celebrated Thanksgiving. I pray that you had time, between turkey (or whatever your tradition) and the phenomenal Jays game (Go Jays Go!) to reflect and express gratitude to God, and the people in your midst.
There are a number of studies done in the area of Gratitude. In an article I read there are 7 scientifically proven benefits of gratitude.
Did you know….
- That being thankful improves our physical and emotional health? People who describe themselves as feeling grateful tend to suffer less stress and depression than the rest of the population.
- Feelings of thankfulness also improves physical health. Apparently gratitude boosts our immune system and increases blood supply to our heart.
- Gratitude also opens the door to more relationships - who wouldn't want to be around a person who says “thank you”?
- Also people who are grateful report an increase in alertness, enthusiasm, and energy, but that’s not all, grateful people sleep better too!
The benefits of gratitude are many and real and yet, gratitude doesn’t come naturally to us. If you were with us on Sunday you will remember the story of Jesus and the ten lepers. Click here to read the story in Luke 17.
Jesus healed all ten of the lepers, but only one of the men turned around, shouting praises to God as he came back to Jesus. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet in thankfulness.
“Were not all ten cleansed?” Jesus asked.
Only one returned. Here’s the thing, I imagine that the other nine were very grateful. After all, they could now live a normal life, they could go home and hug their family members, they could get a job, they could be in public without the humiliation of this dreaded disease. I am sure they were very grateful - but they got so caught up returning to their lives that they forgot to pause and thank the giver of their amazing gift.
“Where are the other nine?” Jesus asked.
I don’t want to be one of the nine. I want to be the one that goes back and says ‘thank you!” Don’t you?? Because you, like me, recognize that every good thing we have comes from God above.
I want to be like the one that came back. The one who turned his blessing into praise to our good God because God is worthy of our praise.
That’s exactly what King David did in Psalm 103:2-5. As you read this, I hope this becomes a cry of your heart, as it has mine.
Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things.
Thankfulness is not relegated to one weekend in the year - cultivating a spirit of gratitude everyday honours God, builds up our faith and strengthens our relationships with the people in our midst. Let's be thankful everyday!
Join us this Sunday as we begin a new sermon series entitled The Time Has Come! based on the book of Haggai.
Come and bring a friend…. I look forward to worshipping with you!