Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Therefore, my brothers, who I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved. Philippians 3:20-4:1
Gratitude. Thankfulness. Hope. So closely tied together. Lose one, and the others disintegrate.
Yes, we should be thankful for “the little things” like material blessings. And the bigger things, like health and relationships. And the “biggest thing” — our salvation and reconciliation with God.
But it is helpful on the “cloudy days” (my understated way of saying, on the days when I can barely see and my balance is off and my heart is constricted and it takes every ounce of energy I have just to get dressed. . .) to remember that there is more than “this”
God has not only saved me from hell (which is huge)
He has given me heaven. With Him. And not as a beggar on the outskirts, looking through to all the “lucky people” who are enjoying the pleasures of family. God has given me citizenship. I will belong in heaven because God gave me that blessing.
Let that blessing alone spur us on to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10). I can be grateful today because of what awaits me. I can express gratitude to others because God has lavished me with His blessing. I can do good and bless others not because I am trying to earn favor, but because I am already favored.
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
John F. Kennedy
And the “highest appreciation” to God for all He has done for me, is to obey Him . . .