3. Gratitude develops my faith.
Can you thank God when life stinks? That’s the test of whether you’re a shallow Christian or a deep one. Can you thank God even when life stinks? When everything is going wrong? If you’re going through tough times, don’t look at what’s lost. Look at what’s left. No matter how bad things are in my life, there is always, always, the fact that I can be thankful to God just for being God.
God has promised to see me through life’s most difficult situations—to help me out, to strengthen me, to care for me, to do miracles, to answer prayer. He’s always promised that even when things don’t go my way, he can work it out for good in my life. So ultimately, his plan is in action, and it takes a growing faith to recognize that.
4. Gratitude serves others.
Radical gratitude actually serves others. It becomes a ministry. We’re saved to serve others, and you can have a ministry of appreciation.
If you’ve ever bought a car, you know the meaning of the word depreciation. The moment you drive it off the lot it’s worth less than you paid for it. Even if it’s brand new, if you take it back, it’s worth less. Depreciation means to decrease in value.
To appreciate means to raise in value. And this is a ministry. When you appreciate your husband, you raise his value. When you appreciate your wife, you raise her value. When you appreciate your kids, you raise their value. When you appreciate your co-workers, you raise their value to you and to the company. When you appreciate your boss, you raise his/her value.
Everybody in life needs massive doses of encouragement. You have an unqualified need to be affirmed, to be loved, to be appreciated. And so does everybody else. If you want to be used by God, here’s a little secret: Affirm everybody. Appreciate everybody. Show gratitude to everybody.
5. Gratitude is a witness to unbelievers.
The best way to share your faith with other people is to start with gratitude. Gratitude shocked people because most people are so ungrateful today.
The Bible says that as believers, we are to live in a way that makes the truth about God attractive. Do they look at your life and desire to know more about what gives you such an encouraging attitude?
In a crooked and depraved generation that is cynical and sarcastic and critical, thankful, encouraging people shine like stars in the universe. Christians should be known for radical love, radical kindness, radical joy, radical gratitude. There’s a word for that. It’s called being Christlike.