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Being anchored represents STRENGTH.

  • There is Strength in Reliance on Jesus
    • He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. He never changes!
  • There is Strength in Reliance on the Word of God
    • The grass withers and the flower fades, but the Word of our God endures forever
  • There is Strength in a Reverent Posture of Submission to God
    • The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, and leads to eternal life

There is Strength in living a life of gratitude.

Early century Christian author, William Arthur Ward:

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”

It’s a posture of gratitude that God has called us to live from!

There is a difference between thankfulness and gratitude.

  • Thankfulness is mostly a FEELING that you get INTERNALLY when you receive something that you either wanted or did not expect.
  • GRATITUDE is when that INTERNAL FEELING triggers an EXTERNAL ACTION that expresses your thanks in a tangible way.

Luke 17:11-19 (NLT)
‘As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten men with leprosy stood at a distance, crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.”

10 Men were healed.

  • 9 Men were THANKFUL
  • But only 1 was GRATEFUL
  • 9 were TOUCHED by the HEALER’S HAND
  • But only 1 wanted to TOUCH the HEALER’S HEART

Philippians 4:4-9 (NLT)
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.


3 STEPS TO LIVING A LIFE ANCHORED IN GRATITUDE

1. EMBRACING JOY

Philippians 4:4
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!

You see, the problem is that some of us hear that, and we interpret it as a command to be “HAPPY” all the time.

But in the same way there’s a difference between THANKFULNESS & GRATITUDE, there’s also a similar difference between JOY & HAPPINESS.

Happiness is momentary — Joy remains

Happiness is a fleeting emotion — Joy is a fruit of the Spirit

Happiness reacts to circumstances — Joy transcends difficulty

Because although situations and circumstances may change

God’s character will ALWAYS remain the same.

And THAT truth fuels the JOY that leads to a life of GRATITUDE!

The call to live a joy-filled life is so foundationalto the spiritual formation of the believer!! Paul shared this same message verbatim to the Thessalonians!!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT)
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Notice that Paul didn’t say “Be joyful in some circumstances…”

He didn’t say “Be joyful in the good circumstances…”

Paul said, “ALWAYS BE JOYFUL!”

And in all circumstances, be thankful!

It is God’s will for all who belong to Jesus, to live lives of gratitude, no matter what is going on around them.

Joy does not downplay or deny difficulty in life.

We live in a FALLEN WORLD...

Jesus said, that “it rains on the just AND the unjust.”

He also said that we shouldn’t be surprised when the world hates us & comes against us.

King David made it a practice to cry out to God when he was in trouble.

But he also acknowledged God’s goodness and faithfulness.

David understood that the JOY OF THE LORD WAS HIS STRENGTH.

He mastered the art of “HAVING HIS EMOTIONS BUT NOT ALLOWING HIS EMOTIONS TO HAVE HIM

Why? Because David was a man who had been through some things.

  • He was OVERLOOKED and PASSED OVER
  • He was surrounded by haters
  • He felt the shame of ADULTERY
  • Found guilty of MURDER
  • He knew the PAIN of losing a child
  • Felt the BETRAYAL of those that he loved

But He also TASTED THE FRUIT of his own FOOLISH DECISIONS

And though he had walked many miles through the valley of the shadow of death,

At the end of life, he could attest to the GOODNESS OF GOD!

David said, “I once was young, and now I am old, but I have NEVER seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”

3 STEPS TO LIVING A LIFE ANCHORED IN GRATITUDE

2. EXPRESSING PRAISE

Paul said, “Always be full of joy in the Lord.”

Philippians 4:6 (NLT)
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

Psalm 100:4 (NLT)

Enter His gates with thanksgiving; and go into His courts with praise.

There’s a reason why…

  • God sent the worshippers ahead of the army as they were facing the stronghold of Jericho
  • Praise was the weapon that brought down the walls
  • Psalm 22:3 says: God inhabits the praises of his people
  • Praise was the key that freed Paul & Silas from prison in Acts 16

There is POWER IN YOUR PRAISE!


To live a life anchored in GRATITUDE, expressing and offering PRAISE is key!

God isn’t telling us to be thankful because He’s a praise-hungry God!

  • The Bible says that Creation declares the glory of God.
  • Jesus said if we remain silent, the very ROCKS will cry out!

We are instructed to be a people of praise, because of what it does on the inside of US.

Paul says, when you choose to EMBRACE JOY, and when you live a life of consistently EXPRESSING PRAISE, you will then EXPERIENCE PEACE

Philippians 4:7 NLT
THEN you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

3 STEPS TO LIVING A LIFE ANCHORED IN GRATITUDE

3.  EXPERIENCE PEACE

Paul describes it as a “PEACE that exceeds anything we can understand…”

But for people who are TRULY ROOTED in GRATITUDE, we know….

  • We don’t praise God just for WHAT HE’S DONE
  • We don’t praise Him for WHAT HE’S GOING TO DO
  • WE LIFT OUR HANDS, WE LIFT OUR VOICES, AND WE PRAISE GOD FOR WHO HE IS!

When you live in THAT SPACE….

  • Where the EXPRESSION of your PRAISE is NOT tied to an EXPERIENCE
  • When your PRAISE is NOT contingent upon a PROMISE
  • When you’ve tasted & seen that the Lord is good, even when your circumstance isn’t…

That’s when you experience this incredible peace that Paul was talking about.

Whether you’re THRIVING or SURVIVING, there is no temporal circumstance that could ever trump or invalidate the intrinsic goodness of God.

Whether I abase or whether I abound…Our proper response to His goodness should be a heart full of Gratitude.