Cultivating A Grateful Heart

by Claire E.

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned,
in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

(Philippians 4:11)

This verse is used so regularly, that most of us probably overlook its true meaning.

You and I have certainly heard about being content in regards to waiting for a spouse. Contentment, really, is such an elusive idea. Webster defines it as “a resting or satisfaction of mind without disquiet…”

A resting of the mind…in what? Our culture provides many options: beauty, friends, money, reputation, the security of a good job or husband, you name it. But as Christians, our rest should be placed in the Almighty. Our Heavenly Father, our Brother, and Comforter. When we rest in God, trusting Him with all our cares and concerns, as well as our wants and desires, we will begin to recognize His hand working wonders in our lives.

“Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him;
and He shall bring it to pass

(Psalm 37:5)

Reflect on the last few months of your life and try to connect all the problems which you thought were impossible to solve, the string of events that worked out just right, and all the many blessings (yes, even the little ones). You should be awestruck by how His hand is at work in your life and the lives of those around you. Even if what you are going through right now seems to be hopeless, God is working out all things for the good of those that love Him. Our proper response should always be praise! 

David, the man after God’s own heart, was given the gift many times of turning a desperate situation into an opportunity to praise. And to glorify God. He cast all his difficulties at the feet of Jehovah, trusting Him with the outcome. In Psalm 40, a chapter filled with many of the woes befalling David, he writes, “I have not hid Thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared Thy faithfulness and Thy salvation: I have not concealed Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth from the great congregation. Withold not Thou Thy tender mercies from me, O Lord: let Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth continually preserve me” (Psalm 40:10-11).

Praise the Lord continually.

Redemption alone is reason enough to spend a lifetime praising Him, and yet He has additionally blessed us so abundantly! I find it difficult to keep my focus centered and tend to get caught up in all the cares, worries, and messes of everyday life. One thing that has helped me to get out of this cycle is to notice the little things to praise God for. Maybe it is your little sister’s cute rosy cheeks, or the soothing sound of the rain. Maybe it is your ever-noisy little brother once again calling your attention to his new creation. We can be thankful for all these things.

Contentment and gratitude are inseparably linked.

Being grateful in all circumstances will, invariably, lead to contentment. If you are thankful for something, then you can’t be discontent with it. On the flip side, if you are truly satisfied and content, then you will praise God! A contented heart is well-expressed in the following Psalm.

“Praise ye the Lord. I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation. The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. His work is honorable and glorious: and His righteousness endureth for ever. He hath made His wonderful works to be remembered: the Lord is gracious and full of compassion. He hath given meat unto them that fear Him: He will ever be mindful of His covenant.”
(Psalm 111:1-5)

Sometimes, you simply have to choose gratitude. Tell yourself, “this is really not how I planned things, but this is how God, in His infinite wisdom, is choosing to put things together.” Then find something to be grateful for and write it down. Creating an ongoing list of things to praise the Lord for will remind you of your purpose – which is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. If you write down three things a day, by the end of the year you will have named over 1,000 gifts! Why don’t you try the challenge?

Sisters, as you pursue contentment through gratitude, remember that you have surrendered your life into the hands of One supremely greater than any of your plans. He alone knows your future and He alone will bring you through it! Don’t ever stop praising your Redeemer. He is so worthy!

“Saying with a loud voice, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.”
(Revelation 5:12)

Introducing KBR Ministries’ Forum Manager

We are thrilled to introduce you to KBR’s new Forum Manager, McKenna Smith. She has such a tender heart for the Lord and a passion for encouraging other young ladies to love and seek Him! She has already been a blessing to the KBR team with her willingness to gather and format articles for the KBR Forum each month, and we know she will be a tremendous blessing to you! Here’s a note from McKenna:

“What a beautiful fall day to be writing to each of you! Golden leaves are drifting down upon the grass that remains miraculously green and there’s the fresh scent of pine in the breeze. Changing seasons…aren’t they a gift? I am McKenna Smith, your sister in Christ, fellow heir of the Kingdom, and like-minded delighter in JESUS. My earthly home is in north Idaho with my family of eight. I can usually be found hiking in the great outdoors, reading aloud to younger siblings, or studying Biblical counseling. Most recently it has been my joy to be helping in the editing and managing of KBR’s online forum – for the glory of God and the edification of the saints. The Lord has richly blessed my heart through this ministry, and I am looking forward to all that He continues to do through it. I know you will be blessed by all our sisters-in-Christ who share on this forum as they join us in seeking an ever closer, deeper walk with Jesus. Getting to love and serve our heavenly Bridegroom is the most glorious calling. And it is a privilege to be traveling this road of sanctification with each of you!”

If you’re interested in writing a guest post for KBR Ministries, click here.

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