By Michael L. Ritchie D.C.
Part 9 – The Power of Gratitude
The storm had passed, and LT Dan had met God in the storm. The Lt. was hoping God would kill him, instead found out that God loved him and had forgiven him of his past. He then began to make things right with Forrest.
Lieutenant Daniel Taylor:
Forrest, I never thanked you for saving my life.
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Have you noticed that people no longer say please and thank you when we do things for them? It has appeared that we have become a generation of entitled people. The attitude that parents, others, churches, and the government “owe us something.” Whether it be our needs or our wants many in our society feel that somehow just by being alive we deserve something. This attitude would have shocked our forefathers or those that went through the great depression. It also contradicts the spirit of the scriptures.
Lt. Dan was seriously injured when his platoon was jumped in the jungles of Vietnam with little hope without the help of PVT. Gump. Forrest, who returned to look for Bubba, found Lt. Dan unable to retreat due to losing his legs to injury and carried him to safety. Instead of gratitude, Lt. Dan took his anger out on Forrest as if he was to blame for his injury.
King Saul promised to reward the man that killed Goliath. David was that man. When David led Saul’s armies to victory after victory, the people began to sing David’s praises and not Saul. Saul became insanely jealous and tried to kill David, the one who had served him so well. Instead of being grateful, Saul became angry. It was Saul’s undoing.
Saul had a choice: He could..
- Focus on the things that were going wrong in his life leading to self-pity, depression, and jealousy. Blaming David for all his problems.
- Focus on the things that were going right. His son in law was protecting, bringing security, honor, and fortune to Saul’s kingdom and family.
Marjorie F. Eddington in her article “The Power of Gratitude” says that focusing on our “lack” can lead to feelings of inferiority, being overwhelmed, make us moody, jealous, or cause us to have a victim mentality. All these things happened to Lt. Dan and King Saul.
Eddington continues to say that focusing on the good and what is going right leads to greater satisfaction in life, gratitude, confidence, overall happiness, gives us a more pleasant personality with a greater trust in God for our future.
Not only does gratitude help our overall quality of life but it invites the presence of God. It has been said that “God is most happy with us when we are most happy with him.” No one wants to be around an ungrateful person, not even God!
David chose an attitude of gratitude saying, Psalm 100:3-5
3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him and bless his name.
5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endures to all generations.
Jesus though he was God in the flesh made sure to be our example of gratitude
Blessing the food at the feeding of the 5000, thanking his father for the raising of Lazarus
We can be grateful because God has been generous, he has promised to provide for our needs, to forgive us of our sins, to have mercy on us, to answer our prayers, to heal our diseases, give us peace , to teach us his ways, and more. He loved us so much that he sent his Son to die on a cross for us!
If that doesn’t make us feel grateful maybe Paul was describing us in
2 Timothy 3:1-3.
3 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good.
Lt. Dan had a life changing encounter with God, and it made all the difference in his life. He became grateful.
A grateful heart is evidence that God’s grace lives there.
So Little Thanks-
So little thanks for all You’ve done
Creator of every wonder I can see
So little praise for all You are
Perfect in power, judgment, divinity
Very little thanks for all your care
much more than any sparrow that falls
So little love for hearing prayer
answering when in distress we call
So little gratitude for dark Calvary
The broken body You endured for me
So little thanks for the blood You spilled
For sinners so in debt to thee
So little thanks, so little love
So little praise or sacrifice,
So little care or gratitude
So Little Thanks.
Count your blessings
name them one by one
Count your blessings
See what God has done
Count your blessings
Name them one by one
Count your many blessings
see what God has done
L. Ritchie D.C.
1 Chronicles 16:8-10
8 Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.
9 Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.
10 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.