Most people would agree that we have a lot to be thankful for. After all, many of us live a lifestyle full of conveniences. We live in comfortable homes, wear nice clothes, and have reliable transportation. We have no shortage of clean water or healthy food. We have access to quality healthcare and education, and basically live a good life with a lot of freedom, safety and security.
While it’s easy to take these wonderful blessings for granted—and sometimes get into the bad habit of focusing on what we don’t have—millions of people around the world live without the basic necessities of life.
I’ll never forget the time one of our sons went on a weekend outreach where a team of people were doing ministry with the homeless. It was obvious that the experience touched him deeply because he called me and said, “If I ever complain again, please knock me down for being so stupid!” He was appalled over the things he had murmured about in the past once he saw, by comparison, how some people were living.
Think about it: Those without a place to live would love to have a house to clean, yet a homeowner is more likely to complain about cleaning their home. A person without any transportation dreams of having a car to drive, while someone who owns a car is more likely to complain about the cost of regular maintenance and unexpected repairs.
It is so easy to forget how blessed we are! Maintaining an attitude of gratitude is something we need to do on purpose.
Praise God: It’s Good for You!
One of the best things we can do throughout the day is praise God while we work. No matter what you’re trying to build—your home, your marriage, your business, financial security, or even an exercise plan—you can worship God as you work.
Another thing we can learn to do is enjoy the seemingly insignificant blessings that we often overlook...little things like getting dressed, driving to work, going to the grocery store, sending emails, and hundreds of other routine activities of life. It’s where the majority of our time goes, so why not learn to appreciate and enjoy them?
Choosing an attitude of thanksgiving not only honors God…it’s good for us!
Praise Brings Us Closer to Him
Did you know that when we give God praise, it brings us closer in our relationship to Him? The Bible says that God inhabits the praises of His people (see Psalm 22:3).
At my conferences, I make sure to be in the service as soon as the praise and worship begins because I love to be in God's presence. In fact, before I speak to an audience, I make sure I have entered into praise and worship. I want to fix my thoughts on God, thank Him for what He’s done in my life and for the words He’s giving me to speak, and I want to give Him praise for everything else He’s going to do. We need to praise God because we love Him. It actually draws us closer to Him, which helps us hear the Word clearly, receive it, and hold on to it through faith.
Praise Brings Perspective
Giving thanks throughout the day is simply a way to show God how grateful we are for who God is. Regularly giving thanks to God not only helps us fully realize how He’s working in our lives, it gives us a new perspective—our mind is renewed, our attitude is improved, and we are filled with joy (see Psalm 16:11).
I like to think of praise as a prayer that naturally flows out of us. It’s a thankful heart attitude that says, “I love You, Lord. I worship You. I can’t do this without You. I need Your help today.”
Each moment that we’re given is a precious gift from God. We can choose to have a thankful attitude and live each moment full of joy…simply because God is good.
Gratitude Quotes to Live By
Here are 40 quotes about gratitude that will not only remind you that what you have is pretty awesome, but will also, I hope, spur you to express that gratitude to the people who deserve it most.
- "Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." William Arthur Ward
- "I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder." G.K. Chesterton
- "'Enough' is a feast." Buddhist proverb
- "If you count all your assets, you always show a profit." Robert Quillen
- "Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." Robert Brault
- "Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some." Charles Dickens
- "Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance." Eckhart Tolle
- "If a fellow isn't thankful for what he's got, he isn't likely to be thankful for what he's going to get." Frank A. Clark
- "If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily." Gerald Good
- "Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity...it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." Melody Beattie
- "The world has enough beautiful mountains and meadows, spectacular skies and serene lakes. It has enough lush forests, flowered fields, and sandy beaches. It has plenty of stars and the promise of a new sunrise and sunset every day. What the world needs more of is people to appreciate and enjoy it." Michael Josephson
- "Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy." Fred De Witt Van Amburgh
- "He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has." Epictetus
- "At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." Albert Schweitzer
- "The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated." William James
- "Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." Oprah Winfrey
- "Silent gratitude isn't very much to anyone." Gertrude Stein
- "Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts." Henri Frederic Amiel
- "You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late." Ralph Waldo Emerson
- "When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around." Willie Nelson
- "It is impossible to feel grateful and depressed in the same moment." Naomi Williams
- "One can never pay in gratitude; one can only pay 'in kind' somewhere else in life." Anne Morrow Lindbergh
- "Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out." John Wooden
- "No one who achieves success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude." Alfred North Whitehead
- "Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude." A.A. Milne
- "Forget yesterday--it has already forgotten you. Don't sweat tomorrow--you haven't even met. Instead, open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift--today." Steve Maraboli
- "We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count." Neal A. Maxwell
- "In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich." Dietrich Bonhoeffer
- "I truly believe we can either see the connections, celebrate them, and express gratitude for our blessings, or we can see life as a string of coincidences that have no meaning or connection. For me, I'm going to believe in miracles, celebrate life, rejoice in the views of eternity, and hope my choices will create a positive ripple effect in the lives of others. This is my choice." Mike Ericksen
- "Gratitude also opens your eyes to the limitless potential of the universe, while dissatisfaction closes your eyes to it." Stephen Richards
- "Gratitude and attitude are not challenges; they are choices." Robert Braathe
- "They both seemed to understand that describing it was beyond their powers, the gratitude that spreads through your body when a burden gets lifted, and the sense of homecoming that follows, when you suddenly remember what it feels like to be yourself." Tom Perrotta
- "Gratitude is more of a compliment to yourself than someone else." Raheel Farooq
- "In life, one has a choice to take one of two paths: to wait for some special day--or to celebrate each special day." Rasheed Ogunlaru
- "This a wonderful day. I've never seen this one before." Maya Angelou
- "We learned about gratitude and humility - that so many people had a hand in our success, from the teachers who inspired us to the janitors who kept our school clean... and we were taught to value everyone's contribution and treat everyone with respect." Michelle Obama
- "When the seasons shift, even the subtle beginning, the scent of a promised change, I feel something stir inside me. Hopefulness? Gratitude? Openness? Whatever it is, it's welcome." Kristin Armstrong
- "'Thank you' is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding." Alice Walker
- "Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for." Zig Ziglar
- "Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things like the scent of the rain, the taste of your favorite food, or the sound of a loved one's voice." Joseph B. Wirthlin