Gratitude is Good!
“Do you see what we’ve got! An unshakeable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be?”
Hebrews 12:28 (MSG)
A recent study published in the Journal, Spirituality in Clinical Practice(note 1), suggests gratitude is effective in staving off a number of negative health problems (note 2). To quote “… we report that gratitude and spiritual well-being are related to better mood and sleep, less fatigue, and more self-efficacy, and that gratitude fully or partially mediates the beneficial effects of spiritual well-being on these end points. Efforts to increase gratitude may be a treatment for improving well-being in heart failure patients lives and be of potential clinical value.”
Some patients were asked to keep a ‘gratitude journal’ whereby each day they had to write three things for which they were most thankful. The study found keeping a gratitude journal helped heart health even more, so much so that the study’s author, Professor Paul Mills of the University of California, suggested ‘gratitude journalling’ as a treatment. Perhaps the NHS should take note!
The Bible (especially the Psalms) is replete with exhortations to be thankful.
Who should we be thankful to? Colossians 3:17 says “…thanking God the Father every step of the way.” So we should be thankful particularly to God. Read also 2 Corinthians 9:11-15; 1 Chronicles 16:34; Psalm 138:1-4; Colossians 1:12. The fact is, God wants us to thank Him, no matter what is happening to us, good or bad as we read in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “…thank God no matter what happens…”
Whom should we be thankful through? Paul in Romans 1:8 was thankful “through Jesus” (MSG). Colossians 3, talking about our new life in Christ, says in verse 15 (MSG), “And cultivate thankfulness.”
To restate, we are grateful to God, through Jesus Christ, for every good thing he has given us (James 1:17), and to finish in the Phillips translation of Colossians 3:15, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, remembering that as members of the same body you are called to live in harmony, and never forget to be thankful for what God has done for you.” As we read initially, gratitude is good for your heart. God created us that way.
God our Father, thank you for the greatest gift of all to mankind, the gospel of salvation; made available through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Thank you for every day that we are alive. Thank you for all the love you give us. Thank you for your daily grace towards us. We thank you through Jesus.
Study by Irene Tibbenham
Worldwide Church of God Norwich
New Hope Christian Centre
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Phone: 01508 498165
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