Spotlight 18: Gratitude creates joy
What does joy in Christ have to do with thankfulness and prayer? The following thoughts on our 2015 motto were written by District Apostle Charles S. Ndandula from Zambia.
Thankfulness and prayer are two key factors we do not make use of all too often. It is said that thankfulness opens the heart of the giver. Regardless of our position in life and what we may or may not have in life, we still have many reasons to thank our heavenly Father and indeed those around us.
Sometimes the things that are happening around us make us so bitter that we forget to be thankful for what God has given us already. Sometimes we compare ourselves with those who have more than we have and, in the process, forget to thank God for what we do have. However, such an attitude blocks many good things from coming our way. Even if we give thanks to God for what we have, our current status will not necessarily change. Maybe we have done someone a good turn but nothing comes back. Do we stop being thankful? No, we continue being thankful for what we do have. And one of the things we have is a wonderful goal ahead of us: eternal life with God. We have every reason to be eternally thankful for this. If we keep our faith, we will not only have eternal life but we will be like God, for we will see Him as He is (1 John 3: 2). If we consistently follow this goal, God will be happy with us and will always be with us. The Lord confirmed this, “The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him” (John 8: 29).
A thankful and praying heart opens many doors
A thankful heart knows the source of all good and perfect gifts: our God. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above” (James 1: 17).
A District Elder in Zambia asked his employer if he could leave work earlier to attend to some matters in his church district. Considering the frequency of the requests, his employer asked him, “Does your God pay you at the end of every month? Is it not me who pays you?” The District Elder answered, “My God pays me very well every month—through you.” He was given permission.
We pray every day. Sometimes God answers our prayers immediately, but most times this is not the case. We should never give up praying, but rather pray without ceasing. Our heavenly Father answers in His own way and in His own time. A praying heart is blessed. Daniel continued to pray to his God even after the king had signed a decree forbidding this. He was thrown into the lions’ den. But God protected Daniel and sent an angel to shut the lions’ mouths.
Photo: Oliver Rütten
Charles S. Ndandula