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The Power of Gratitude

As busyness, distractions, and unexpected events complicate our schedules, thankfulness may fall victim to neglect or simply get buried under disappointment and difficulty.  So Scripture and this season together remind us that Thanksgiving is an important element of a healthy life.
1. Gratitude is an antidote for discouragement
Perhaps you have heard the admonition, “Count your blessings, name them one by one; and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”  And if the recounting of blessings does not surprise us; at least it will serve as a reminder that we do have much for which we can be grateful; and the consistent expression of gratitude, creates a grateful heart.
2. Gratitude is a blessing to others
In some ways, gratitude expressed to others is like oxygen for the soul.  I once shared what a student had said to me about the respect he had for his pastor and saw tears well up in the pastor’s eyes.  I sensed the words of appreciation and respect were badly needed.
3. Gratitude helps transform perspective and build character
The author of James admonishes readers to “count it all joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James 1:2-3)

When people are asked about a turning point which has enriched their lives, often a situation fraught with suffering and tragedy is mentioned.  Without minimizing the painful experience, people emphasize the personal transformation which came out of the ordeal.
4. Gratitude is essential to obedience
In 1 Thess. 5: 18, we hear the challenge to “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Even in extremely difficult situations, we can be grateful that God is at work to bring good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28).
Since we are commanded to be grateful as Christians and we know that gratitude produces benefits for others and ourselves, why not answer the following questions and take appropriate action?
  1. What are three elements of your current work which you are thankful for?
  2. Who are people you can encourage by expressing gratitude this week? Someone in your family? A student that is discouraged? A person you work with? Someone who supports your ministry?
  3. What difficult experience has resulted in benefits which you are thankful for?  What adversity is currently being used to refine your life and produce patience?
"A Call for Leadership" is a monthly conference call for volunteer and part-time BSM staff which will discuss a podcast or article on Leadership Development.  From a variety of podcasts, one will be recommended so that you can listen to it and consider how the information relates to your ministry.  The podcast for Nov. is Andy Stanley Leadership podcast 41-42, “Defining your Organizational Culture.”

Here is what you need to do to take part in the conference call:
  • Go online to the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast, subscribe (its free) and listen to podcast 41. 
  • On Nov. 21 at 2:30 pm, you can join the conference call by dialing 214-828-5240 and then entering the participant code 6576181 followed by the # sign.
  • In addition to the discussion of the podcast, those participating in the conference call will share about the success and challenges they are facing so that the participants can pray for each other.
Please know that your ministry is valued and make “Thanksgiving” a season for gratitude.
The BSM Staff Website is full of resource ideas, Bible Studies, up-coming events, and other material.
If I can be of help, please feel free to contact me at 512-497-3240 or drrickspencer@sbcglobal.net.
Past editions of KeySources can be found at www.texasbsmstaff.org/keysources
Copyright © 2016 Texas BSM, All rights reserved.


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