March 25, 2017

Choosing Gratitude: Chapter 8

Welcome to the Choosing Gratitude study! If you’re not sure what this is all about, we’re studying through Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. See the Introduction for more details.

Choose Gratitude — But Not Without Sacrifice

Gratitude is more than just a pleasing sentiment. It’s more than smiley faces and greeting cards. It takes hard work, and it costs something real. It involves sacrifice.

“Out in the byways of real life, a grateful heart must often strap on sword and shield, summon up its deepest courage, and brace itself for battle.”

Consider Job. Think of all he lost — his family, his servants, his livestock, his wealth, his health, even his friends. But is there any greater example of pure gratitude, then when he knelt down in the midst of his agony and cried, “Blessed be the name of the Lord!”? His gratitude was birthed in pain, and yet it was so much purer than what many of us ever offer to God.

The author mentions other examples — Joni Eareckson Tada, Corrie ten Boom, even “unknown” personal friends — who refused to wallow in self-pity, choosing instead to rejoice in their suffering. It’s not an easy choice. It’s not the path of least resistance. But it’s the right choice, the godly choice, the choice that will benefit us and glorify God.

“In life’s hardest, most unsettling times, many of these who had lost absolutely everything had found a surprising level of solace in the God-given perspective of gratitude.”

Gratitude is tough. It’s a sacrifice.
But it’s a sacrifice well-pleasing to God. {tweet that!}

When we don’t understand why He allows certain trials in our lives, yet we choose to rejoice and praise Him despite it all, that pleases Him. And in turn, He blesses us. Maybe not by changing our circumstances, but at the very least (or perhaps the most) by granting us a deeper intimacy with Him.

Nancy explains it best in the following paragraphs:

“It’s a sacrifice either way.

If we go on without gratitude–choosing to be bitter, constantly bemoaning our fate–we force ourselves to live in already unhappy conditions with the added drag of our gloomy disposition. Unwilling to stay mindful of the blessings we enjoy in spite of our difficulties, as well as the strength and sensitivity God grow best in us through hardship and loss, we sacrifice peace. We sacrifice contentment. We sacrifice relationships–and freedom and grace and joy.

But what if we could maintain all those things–and even increase them beyond anything we’ve ever experienced before–by making just one sacrifice: the sacrifice of thanksgiving?

This chapter is filled with story after story of those who chose to trust God, despite horrible circumstance. It overflows with everyday examples of choosing to praise Him in the midst of pain and suffering. If you’re struggling today, take a few minutes to read through this chapter and ask yourself: how can I praise God despite the pain?

Choosing Gratitude Study

Now it’s YOUR turn!

  • What did you love in chapter 8? What didn’t you love?
  • Did any of the stories hit home for you? Which ones?
  • How has God taught you to give thanks, despite painful circumstances?

Only 1 chapter left in the book study… which means time is running out for you to share your thoughts! If you’d like to share something privately, send me an email! I’d love to hear from you!


Comments

  1. A sacrifice… Yes! But so worth the sacrifice in the end. Thanks for linking up to Thrive @ Home Thursday!

Trackbacks

  1. […] do the same thing to God! God tells us to give thanks in everything… even in pain and chaos, even when our gratitude requires sacrifice. And His command is not merely for own glory – He commands thankfulness because it will […]

  2. […] 6 – How Can I Say Thanks? Chapter 7 – Thanks for Everything! Chapter 8 – But Not Without Sacrifice Chapter 9 – Going […]