The only thing more distasteful than a braggart is an ingrate. A braggart is more or less obnoxious. You learn to ignore him. An ingrate, on the other hand, is a huge disappointment. Ingratitude is more difficult to overlook. When a braggart boasts, he’s bragging about something he’s done or accomplished, justified or not. When a person receives a gift of some kind and doesn’t even acknowledge the gift, it becomes personal when you’re the giver. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth. It’s distasteful!

In a period of life transition, it’s important to spend time in reflection and remember the gifts and blessings of the past and present. As a Christ follower, it’s always imperative to acknowledge the grace of God every day, and to give thanks to the Lord for his gift of salvation through the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. The Sun should never set that we haven’t expressed our humble gratitude to the heavenly Father for his gift of life and the gift of life everlasting. The forgiveness of sins and the blessings of heaven should never be forgotten or taken for granted.

We are told in Scripture that the heavenly Father is the source of “every good and perfect gift.” From our vantage point, it is often hard to see every gift of God as “good and perfect.” Every day is a gift, but what about those “bad days?” It seems sometimes that the bad days out number the good days. Our marriage partners are God’s gifts to us, but nobody has a “perfect” marriage. Our children are beautiful blessings of God and the source of great joy, but our children are not always “good” little girls and boys, and because we love them so deeply, we often endure great heartache over them. To add to the enjoyment and pleasure of life, God brings us into meaningful relationships with special friends. He joins us to others in the Christian fellowship of the family of God – the church. But we find that even meaningful relationships can become complicated and stressful. Sometimes we think we’d be better off living alone on a forgotten island or in a mountain cabin high up in the Rockies. But God made us for relationships and relationships are his “good and perfect” gifts to us, even though the people in those relationships aren’t perfect, beginning with us!

Not every life circumstance seems good or perfect either. Periods of transition are often filled with uncertainty, hardship, and pain. Not everything we experience in life is from God, but God is with us in and through every experience. Even those circumstances which are not God’s doing, he can use to accomplish his good in us or his good for us. Hard times is no excuse to be an ingrate. In fact, you may be right where God wants you to be. The Scripture says, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5:18)

During this time of transition, there is some uncertainty, but this isn’t hard! I’ve been blessed. God’s grace is amazing. Life is good, and life in Christ is incomparable! The last thing I want to be is an ingrate – even for a day! I want the Lord to know today how grateful I am. Thank you, Lord! I want those who have blessed my life -those who have shared their life and love with me to know how grateful I am. Thank you! Being a pastor is a great gift. I want the churches I served to know how grateful I am and will always be that I had the privilege to be their pastor. Thank you!

I don’t want to take anything for grated. I’m grateful to be right where I am because I believe I’m right where God wants me to be today, and, by the grace of God, I’ll be where he wants me to be tomorrow.

True gratitude is bragging on Jesus.”May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 6:14)

4 Responses to “Lessons Learned in Transition (So Far!) – Gratitude”

  1. Rosa Law said

    Thank you Pastor West for this blog today. I am blessed by your words. I am still learning how God wants and expects me to be grateful in all blessings and trials. May you have a blessed day. Rosa

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  3. diablo 3 said

    Greetings! Extremely valuable suggestions on this short article! It’s the minor adjustments that make the greatest adjustments. Many thanks a good deal for sharing!

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