In this series, you and I will be discussing the Biblical benefits of gratitude. This study will be taken from the book, "Militant Thankfulness: An Essential Practice to Experiencing a Full Spiritual Life."
Throughout this series, together, you and I will look at the immense blessings and benefits of thankfulness as presented by Scripture. And, by the end of this series, you and I will be able to identify some profound benefits of gratitude, as well as come to the conclusion that the intentional and ongoing practice of thanksgiving is an essential spiritual disciple for the Christian life.
We will be exploring the benefits of gratitude according to Philippians 4:6-7. What we will discover is the promise of peace accompanies the practice of thankfulness.
Our inspired text for today states this: "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6-7). In this verse, the command against anxiety is immediately followed by the instruction for practicing "thanksgiving." What's more, in verse 7, the promise peace is given to all those who would include the practice of thankfulness as a spiritual discipline.
This is an incredible little promise. When we practice "thanksgiving... the peace of God... will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." When practicing thanks as a normal part of our relationship with God (in our prayers and supplications), God promises peace.
When you look for opportunity to give thanks, you find occasion to place your attention and your mind back upon God. As is offered in a lot more detail in Dustin's book, the practice of gratitude is the art shifting your focus and your mind off yourself (and your circumstances) and onto the goodness of the Lord. This concept is reinforced by Romans 8:6. It says, "For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace."
And, again in Isaiah 26:3, it promises, "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You..." The diligence to practice thankfulness is truly an essential practice to experiencing a full spiritual life. The art of gratitude is to force the mind off self and back onto our Savior.
For more information on the Biblical benefits of gratitude, I highly recommend Dustin Dahlin's book, Militant Thankfulness: An Essential Practice to Experiencing a Full Spiritual Life.
Married with two boys, Dusty is dedicated to his family, the Church were he pastors, and the life-long pursuit of knowing God more fully. There is nothing Dusty loves more than serving God by helping others understand the treasures of Scripture.