Gratitude Changes Everything

Sharon Jaynes A Sudden Glory, Gratitude, Trusting God 124 Comments

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude lately. What is it? When should we show it? What does God say about it? How does it change the way we view life? Then I remembered the day I got contact lenses.

See, when I turned forty, suddenly small letters and numbers got smaller. A trip to the ophthalmologist proved that I needed reading glasses. But I had a hard time keeping up with them, so the doctor fitted me with mono-vision contact lenses.

In my left eye I wear a contact lens for close-up and in my right eye I wear a contact lens for distance. And somehow, my brain figures all that out and I can see perfectly.

That is how I view gratitude and grace. With gratitude in one eye and grace in the other, I can see God more clearly. If there is one thing that should cause gratitude to bubble up and spill out of our hearts, it is God’s grace.

Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV).

Notice he didn’t write feel thankful in all circumstances. Instead, he wrote “give thanks in all circumstances.” When I begin to praise God in a difficult situation, even if I don’t feel like it, many times the scales fall from my eyes, and I begin to see glimpses of God’s presence sprinkled on the black backdrop of the situation like diamonds on black velvet.

Gratitude changes the lens through which we see the circumstances in our little slice of time. Sometimes I don’t see God in tragedy, but I still can praise God because I know He is there.

Thanksgiving changes our perspective despite broken dreams, broken relationships, tumultuous circumstances, and unfulfilled longings.

As we praise God for who He is and thank Him for what He’s done, our perspective of Him grows larger and our problems grow smaller. As a result, we experience a deeper sense of intimacy with God as the emotional gap between what we know to be true and how we feel at the moment closes.

On many occasions in the Psalms, David complained about his circumstances (Psalms 42; 57; 62). But more often than not, about midway through David’s laments, he begins praising God for who He is and thanking God for what He’s done.

Here’s an example:

In Psalm 42 David cries out, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. Where can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night (42:3-4 NIV). He is not a happy camper.

Then he has a little talk with himself and says, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (42:5 NIV).

And you know what happens? Suddenly David starts feeling better! Life isn’t so bad after all! His problems grow smaller as his perspective of God grows larger, and he begins to sense God’s presence in the middle of his problem.

Why is that? In the writing of one little Psalm, David shifted from grumbling to gratitude. He didn’t wait until God changed his situation, solved his problem, or made him feel better before he began thanking Him.

I love how Eugene Peterson paraphrases David’s words in psalm 42:5: “Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God—soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God” (MSG).

Oh friend, when we stop complaining and begin speaking God’s love language of gratitude, our perspective will change as well. We will begin sensing God’s presence in moments of sudden glory through the lens of praise and thanksgiving—glory moments that were there all along, but we just couldn’t see them.

Stop right now, click on comment, and share three things that you are thankful for today.

Dear Lord, I praise Your name. I exalt Your name forever. Even though I may not understand what is going on in my life, I trust that You are good, and Your ways are good. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.         

Do you long for something more in your relationship with God. The good news is that “something more” doesn’t mean “doing more.” God wants to commune with you right smack dab in the middle of your busy life. Join me in A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More to understand how to recognize Him in the big and small.
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Comments 124

  1. I am thankful for a husband who loves and supports me, friends who pray for me and a wonderful caring God who gave me those precious gifts.

    1. I am thankful for the fact that He is and I can talk to him anytime. The things He did, is doing and will do in my life and the lives of the people that came and left, the ones that stayed and the ones that had been always in my life.

    2. I am thankful for a successful surgery and speedy recovery, all the loved ones that rallied around me and also God’s Peace that guided my heart in this past 2 weeks.

  2. Thank you, Sharon!
    1. I’m grateful to be in a time of life when I can rise early and spend 1-2 hours in quiet time with the Lord.
    2. I’m grateful for my joy in Him, which is often contagious!
    3. I’m grateful to know that even in hard times, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are interceding for me before the Father.
    Amen!

  3. I am thankful that my mother is coming home from the hospital after a six-month battle with multiple health concerns. I am thankful that both my husband and I have been able to work through this pandemic and that none of our children suffered employment loss either. I am thankful that after a miscarriage one of our children is pregnant again and the pregnancy is thriving.

    1. I’m greatful and thankful for God’s strength and favor when I’m in the middle of trials and circumstances. Even though it doesn’t feel good. I’m able to endure and get through because of God’s love strengthen and God being by my side always. He’s strengthen me daily and provides for me and my family.

  4. God woke me up this morning, very grateful. My son in law has been battling covid and he is improving, praise God, thank you Father. I am grateful for Gods presence and joy and peace, grateful for courage and strength . I love you God thank you God for all that you do for me and my family, friends, and neighbors.

  5. 1. God made a way for me to leave a toxic job environment.
    2. He reminds me of his presence when I am lonely.
    3. I have every basic need being met.

  6. I’m thankful for my husband, children and Grandchildren.
    I’m thankful for my amazing customers.
    And I’m thankful for my Health.❤️

  7. I am grateful for the glorious sunrise this morning; for making the choice and having the time to pack my husbands lunch and make his coffee; and for my health

  8. I am grateful for so many things but today I will be thankful for my freedom, my family and my Lord and Savior’s love and forgiveness!

  9. Thank YOU LORD for a brand new day of YOUR mercy and grace. Thank YOU LORD for shelter, food and clothing. Thank YOU LORD GOD for JESUS and salvation YOU still care for me by showing me sacrificial love…to die for.💞

  10. I am so thankful for my husband and family. I am incredibly thankful that a close friend shares her little one with me every school day.

  11. God has always seen me through with financial provision, His comforting Presence when losing loved ones, and knitting me into the Body of Christ – both local and abroad!

  12. I am thankful for a full nights sleep, healthy kids (two were up almost all night the day before and pretty sick), and thankful for my job!

  13. I’m so thankful for Your grace and mercy! For the love, from family and friends, that I have been blessed with my whole life! As well as the struggles that keep me thankful for Your grace and mercy….

  14. I am grateful for New Beginnings, New Adventures and a New Journey that I am on with Jesus!!! He is helping me and showing me how to trust Him more and more everyday. I’m excited about it!!!

  15. 1. I am thankful for my parents teaching me about God.
    2. What a blessing it is to have a family that loves one another.
    3. I am grateful for my health and well-being and that of my family’s.

  16. I am thankful for my brother, sisters, children and grandchildren. I am thankful for God’s mercy and grace. I am thankful for my healing.

  17. I’m thankful for my quiet times with God, Adoration. I’m thankful for the love of my family-my husband, my children & my 4 grandchildren. I’m thankful for my friends

  18. There is so much to be thankful for! 1. My rapid test was negative and my cold is just a cold, and I was able to go to work. 2. God’s faithfulness, love and provisions for us in the past, in the present, and in the future. 3. My husband and family, church and friends. To God be the glory great things He has done!

  19. I am thankful for life. I just suffered a heart attack this past weekend and it made me realize I need to re-order my life.

    I’m thankful for a husband who loves me. That heart attack made me realize how thankful I am for his love and I see more clearly the love I have for him.

    I’m thankful for friends that I have and who are so caring and generous. And I’m thankful for those friends I didn’t even know I had!

  20. I’m thankful for another day, everyday I rise is a gift from you Jesus, and another day to be a blessing to someone in word or deed. I’m also thankful for the precious gift of Salvation, that you gave to me and everyone else who has received you as their Lord and Savior, and for my family who gives me such joy.

  21. Thankful for God’s daily protection over my family.
    Thankful for God’s mercy and grace upon me.
    Thankful for the gifts of my daughters, for my adopted daughter, and for my sons in law and 4 special grandchildren.

  22. I am thankful that I can call out to God at any time of the day or night and he hears me.

    I am thankful for my family; in the midst of several tragedies recently-we have grown closer.

    I am thankful for these devotions; they are needed.

  23. I am thankful that my job affords me the time to enjoy reading devotions like yours and others in the mornings; so grateful for my family and church family; and last, but certainly not least, thankful for my relationship with my Savior!!

  24. I’m grateful for this post this morning. It helped me put things in perspective.
    I’m grateful for my family, my health, the home we have the food we eat the love of family snd friends.
    My mom would say to me
    Not everyday may be good, But there is always something good in everyday .
    There is something everyday to be thankful and grateful for . Thank you God for being there for me and helping me to see all the wonderful things you have created and given me to be thankful for

  25. I am grateful for being able to continue to do the work I love, visit the ocean and experience it’s magnificance and having a sense of hope about the future! Amen

  26. Am thankful to God for the gift of life and creating me in his image

    Am thankful for the gift of marriage and children

    Am thankful for the healing mercies of lord

  27. I am so thankful that God loves me.
    I am thankful for each member of my family.
    I am thankful that I am still healthy and able to work.
    I love you Lord!

  28. I am grateful for my family and praying friends. I am grateful to be alive in this new season of retirement. I am grateful that God always reminds me that I am loved, valued and worthy of His Love and Amazing grace.

  29. I am thankful for my husband who is supportive and stable when I am not. I am thankful for my 3 kids. The oldest 2 both following the Lord and the youngest who is 12 today. He has a few struggles but God can help. I am so thankful for both of us in a job that provides all we ever need and more. I live in real comfort in my home and so often take forgranted all the blessings

  30. I am grateful that I had the flu and not COVID, and my temp. is normal today.
    I am grateful for a husband who took care of me throughout this flu and always.
    I am grateful for a God who loves me no matter what.

  31. Thank you so much Sharon I needed to read God’s Word of God to encourage me l am so grateful that I have a way maker and a provider with my daily needs to be done with God’s prayer waiting list! I am grateful to all my doctors for my mental health and my diabetes with insulin depending on the lifelong support from God’s blessings! Dr. Jesus is my 24/7 touch by his heart for me!

  32. Loved this devotional, Sharon! I’m thankful and grateful I’m flying home to California today to visit my aging parents after not having seen them for two years due to Covid (I live in Ottawa, Canada). I’m thankful that although my 93 year-old dad has suddenly started having severe health issues, I’ll be there for three weeks to help out and be with him and my 89 year-old mom. And I’m thankful for my husband of 40 years, our four married children, and 12 perfect grandchildren. TRULY Blessed

  33. I am thankful for my wonderful husband, son and daughter who are very patient with me, I am thankful for God mercy in my life, for His unconditional love and He always always provide for us

  34. I am grateful that God pulled me out of the depths of despair years ago and showed me that I can be loved and give love to others; I am grateful for my husband and five beautiful daughters who bring me so much joy; I am grateful that God has protected, cared for and healed me and my family. Through every valley and on every mountain top I will praise him!

  35. I am thankful for God sending His only begotten son for me, I am thankful for health, and I am thankful for family. Thank you Jesus for it all.

  36. I am thankful for God who loves us unconditionally & forgives freely. Who is Always there for us and never makes us feel small or not worthy. His word is our personal planner & text book for living a peaceful, adventurous, unchained life.

  37. I praise God for my health and my family’s health, for my security, for my relationships. I praise Him for the gift of Christ. There are so many praises and things for which I am thankful. The sunshine today is a real blessing as well. Thank you, God.

  38. I am Thankful for my Mother’s influence in staying strong in the word & prayer, I am thankful God provides for every need even before it’s on my lips & I am so very thankful for the love and support I receive from my husband & 2 grown sons 🙏😊

  39. I’m thankful that God opened my eyes as a Jewish 16 year old to His loving gift of salvation & having a Father in heaven I can talk with 24/7.
    I’m so thankful that God blessed me with a wonderful Christian husband who also is 1/2 Jewish! That was important to me. He’s loving, caring, compassionate & my best friend.
    I’m thankful for my 3 children, their spouses & my 3 granddaughters!

    God is so Good!!!

  40. I’m thankful for the blessing of a new home, I’m thankful that my family is healthy, and I’m thankful that I have been able to enjoy a quiet time with the Lord this morning.

  41. At this moment, I’m very grateful for this particular post regarding gratitude and thankfulness. God has provided a new place for me to live. I’ve run through so many emotions since I was told I must move after 5 happy yrs. I have focused on negatives in the new place rather than being thankful to Jehovah Jireh. The Holy Spirit had begun a convicting work on my heart today and this post has brought that conviction more to the forefront.

    God has kept me safe and secure in His strong arms through many challenges and I have never gone hungry, or been homeless, and He will continue tomorrow as He did yesterday. I am thankful that God never changes and His mercies are new every morning.

  42. I am thankful for:
    1. My husband, Brian. I love exploring the national, state, and regional parks in Arizona with him. We have seen God’s beautiful creation as we hike and explore.
    2. Quiet mornings to read a devotion and drink my coffee with my cat snuggled against my legs. Thanks you for the “Gratitude Changes Everthing” devotion this morning, Sharon.
    3. Meeting new friends. We moved to Arizona six months ago and are slowly meeting our neighbors. I am thankful to have met several more neighbors yesterday. Yay!!

  43. Thankful for my church family, for somehow always having fortune in my life despite the severity of situations and for the joy I feel from helping others to understand our role in His creation!

  44. I am thankful for God’s salvation through my Lord Jesus. I am thankful for God’s faithfulness. I am thankful for the beautiful sunny day.

  45. I thankful for my salvation, for a loving husband and children and grandchildren who are near by, amd for improved finances.

  46. our triune God.

    His Holy Word

    receiving His Holy Spirit and forgiveness when i was baptized into His death and raised to His New, Abundant Life

  47. This definitely gave me a perspective in my thinking…

    I am grateful for:
    1. God’s forever forgiveness!
    2. A loving husband who is so supportive
    3. My children, grandchildren and my parents living right next door to me!

    GOD IS GREAT!!!!

  48. Thankful that he has brought me into another year, (HBD to me), his goodness and faithfulness towards me and my family. (There is so much)

  49. I am so very thankful for Gods grace is yet again bringing me thru a time of trial
    I am thankful for Sharons God given words to my inbox I am so very grateful to god for giving her the words and ability to write and publish her much valued books
    I am so grateful for a wonderful wife who has stood by me with Gods grace thru a life of a lot of hard times
    I am so very grateful to God who found me in the blackest of dark places and times
    I so love you God and thank you kindly for my life

  50. Thank you beautiful message!

    I am thankful for the messy and challenging season I am in right now while I enjoy my first baby.

    I am thankful for my baby Oren. And because even though he was born with a congenital heart issue that needs surgery in general he is a healthy baby and full of joy.

    And last but not least for my amazing husband.

  51. I’m grateful for the gift of life – I’m able to breath, see, talk, think, and move
    I’m grateful for my husband and 6 children. Thank you Lord for Jesus who saved me and my family, leading us to prepare for eternal life.
    I’m also grateful for the cross, I’m healed and restored, I am able to help others to grow in faith. Thank you for His Word, the light and lamp to lighten my path. Glory to you Jesus. Thank you Holy Spirit for leading us every day into the truth

  52. I am thankful for my life, my children, my grandchildren, my family & friends.
    I am thankful for my home, car & all the things God has given me.
    I am very thankful for God’s LOVE most of ALL!
    May God’s Love surround all of us like a warm hug! 🫂🤗.
    Send our praises up to heaven & God showers us with many blessings! 🕊👼🙏😇

  53. I am thankful that the Lord is my Shepherd through every detail of my life, and so grateful for my husband who has travelled with me down twisting roads through a life focused on God’s glory, and I am so very thankful that Jesus bore the curse for me so I might receive the blessing and inheritance as a child of God!

  54. Thank you, Lord, for reminding us that you are good despite any circumstances and challenges we are facing every day.
    Thank you, Lord, for the new boss that you have given us. I pray that you bless them and our team to have a harmonious relationship, have a clear understanding of every task that we have, and have peace in our hearts and mind that everything we are doing is for your glory and honor.
    Thank you, Lord, for the life of my husband. May give him strength, wisdom, divine direction, and power to fulfill our dreams and plans in life. Let your Holy Spirit convict us all the time, guide us all the time. May you continue to bind us with Your love and use our life as a blessing to those people around us. Direct our paths and correct the desires of our hearts. Thank You, Lord, that we have 24/7 to communicate with you all the time. In Jesus’s name, I pray Amen.

  55. I am grateful for my family & friends who pray for and support me. The ways God has provided for me, and that He has a good plan for me. That He is good and is still the blessed controller of all things, even when I can’t see it. He will always Reign over all!

  56. I am thankful for a successful surgery and speedy recovery, all the loved ones that rallied around me and also God’s Peace that guided my heart in this past 2 weeks.

  57. I’m thankful for being under the umbrella (along with all God’s children) Receiving & Sharing… The Many Blessings of the Holy Trinity…
    1. GOD the Father,
    2.God the Son (Jesus),&
    3. God the Holy Spirt.
    Amen Amen Amen

  58. I am thankful for God paving a path for me, and guiding me towards that path, I am also grateful to God for helping me use tools to better my life, for placing a wonderful man in my life and a beautiful cat, for helping me through the death of my mother two years ago and filling my heart with the knowledge that she is with God and Jesus, everything I am thankful for is always credit to God, I don’t always listen to his calls, but he always has my best interests in heart.

  59. I’m thankful for God’s peace, joy and contentment. No matter what my circumstances, they are always there. Also for a life with my husband of 55 years. Our life hasn’t always been pain free but God has truly blessed us through everything. I’ve never regretted a day of serving my Lord.

  60. I am thankful for God’s love. His provision protection, and healing in the lives of me, my family and friends. How I continualy see God working in and through my husband.

  61. Blessings more than can be counted

    The beautiful sunrise with the pinks and yellows mixing with the blue sky

    Learning to find the heart of God

  62. I’m thankful for my healthy boys, my husband and God, roof over my head, thankful that I can feed my family without worrying. Thankful for my health. Thankful for his continued fellowship with me through out my day.

  63. I am most thankful for the ultimate sacrifice of God allowing His son Jesus to suffer and die for my sins. His indescribable gift of life has given me the opportunity to serve Him so I too can live eternally. I am grateful for health and my family.

  64. I am thankful to God for traveling mercy every day as I travel to and fro. I praise him for continued strength in my body and mind. Thank you Lord for your GRACE that gets me through each moment.

  65. I am grateful for this message that is reminding me of God’s Grace that is new today.
    I am grateful that circumstances I would not choose will happen, but in choosing HIS NARROW PATH as I walk with Jesus and depend upon HIS GRACE, there is no room on this narrow path to carry the heavy load of my past, present and future mistakes.
    I am grateful for HIS GRACE that is teaching me to “Let go and Let God fix me.
    I A GRATEFUL TO BE LOVED BY HIM
    I AM GRATEFUL THAT HE KNOWS MY NAME
    I AM GRATEFUL FOR PRAISING HIS HOLY NAME THAT LIFTS ME UP WITH A BETTER PERSPECTIVE OF MY LIFE.

  66. Thank you God for holding my hand as I go through a strained marriage. Your grace has seen me wake up each day to go to work and focus. You have filled me with a spirit of power and love for my children and sound mind. May your name be praised.

  67. i am thankful to God Jehovah for giving me his Holy Spirit. Without Him, life is meaningless. thankful also for families and friends and God’s servants who provide support spiritually and morally.

  68. I am grateful for the love of the Lord in my life, my family and my friends, my health and strength, and gainful employment in a profession I enjoy.

  69. Thank you Lord
    For your love and saving redemption
    Thank you each and every day you provide
    Thank you for my family and friends
    In Jesus precious name
    Amen

  70. Thankful that I am cancer-free after breast cancer surgery and treatment. I’m also thankful for my husband and family and friends, and my sweet dog who loves to snuggle. ❤

  71. 1. I’m thankful for Jesus. I am nothing without him. I’m thankful for my Christian faith, Christianity, and my brothers and sisters in Christ.
    2. I’m thankful for my parents, siblings, nephews, nieces, cousins, and family. I’m also thankful for my friends Eleanor, Samantha, Maycelene R., Memoryna, Darlene, and especially Sabine and Sylvia my friends and mentors.
    3. I’m also thankful for my boyfriend Emil R. I’m also thankful for my job.

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