The Art of a Grateful Heart

O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever. (Psalm 118:1) 
What are we to do when we face life’s inevitable difficulties? Paul urges us on behalf of Christ to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). As difficult as that may sound, there is good reason why God encourages us to embrace a spirit of gratitude. Gratitude is grounded in the truth that our Lord “is good” and “his love endures forever” (Psalm 118:1). He is present with us and strengthens us in the midst of trouble (Hebrews 13:5–6), and He lovingly uses our trials to grow our character into His likeness (Romans 5:3–4). 
When life hits us with hard times, choosing to be grateful focuses our attention on the goodness of God and gives us the strength to make it through our struggles. With the psalmist, we can sing, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his mercy/love endures forever” (Psalm 118:29). 
Lord, I realize that focusing on my troubles causes me to forget that even in the midst of trials You are good. Teach me the art of a grateful heart. Amen. 
This devotion blessed me. I am reminded of Joshua 1:9, Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Forget what you can’t control and focus on what you can control, your attitude, your faith, and your perspective. Choose to make the very best of every situation that comes your way. Thanksgiving is a virtue that grows through practice.
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is John 15:4

This is the Day!

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)
Have you ever said, “I can’t wait for this week to be over?” How about, “This is the worst day ever!” How many days have you just “wanted to get through it?”

Psalms 118 reminds us that each day we have, is a day created by God. It is a day we should rejoice in, a day we should be happy. It is not a day where we should be burdened by the stress of our lives, but a day that we should be praising and thanking God.

Psalm 118 reminds us that everyday we have is a gift. A day that we should treasure, because we do not know if it will be our last. Everyday is a day we are able share God’s love, and his joy.

What I find most interesting, is that many Christians are not filled with joy. Many Christians do not smile at a new day, just because it exists. They do not realize the mystery and frailty of that day. Instead, we take the gifts we have for granted, and grumble about our work.

We complain about having too much paperwork, too much homework, an unhappy boss, our hours… We tell people how bad our day is going…

And yet, the most afflicted Christians spoke of how “joyful,” they were. Christians who were jailed, beaten, and killed because of their beliefs. In Acts 2:28, Luke says: Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.

Shouldn’t that be the attitude we all have? Shouldn’t we be grateful for being able to know God? To have a personal relationship with him? To have another day in his presence? Shouldn’t we be grateful that we have another day to spend with our friends and family?

Shouldn’t we wake up everyday, and think to ourselves, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it….”

We need to be joyful for what we have, and remember that everyday God is sharing his love with us. Everyday is a chance to be loved by him, and to return his love.
I woke up this morning with Psalm 118:24 on my heart and so as I searched Psalm 118 I came across this devotion and it blessed me so much, I had to share. It caused me to stop and question how I approach each day. Yes, I am guilty of complaining about my day, my week and forgetting to be grateful for being able to know God to have a personal relationship with Him, to have another day in his presence surrounded by friends and family. Help me God to wake up each day filled with joy and gratefulness for another day to be alive and to think or say to myself, This is the day which The Lord hath made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. You are the master of your own emotions, no one or thing can still your joy, you have to allow them, give them or it permission to rob from you. It’s no different than if you gladly opened your door to a robber and said come on in and take what you want, our lives, our joy is a gift from God, why just give it away and allow the enemy to rob from you today or any other day. Think on this today as you maybe approach a not so great day. Spend time today in His presence. He’s waiting.  
Have a wonderful day in The Lord!
Today’s Reading is Psalm 118