For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
Complaining, worry, discontent are all natural. But in Christ, I am not a slave to the natural. I have a choice.
I can choose to be thankful. I can choose gratitude. That is freedom.
. . .walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Galatians 5:16-18
I am responsible to choose to walk by the Spirit. It is more than I can do on my own. I MUST rely on the power of Christ in me (which sounds like not a choice but making a choice to submit to God’s power rather than relying on my own devices is a choice).
Now the works of the flesh are evident; sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. . .Galatians 5:19-21
This list is “doin’ what comes naturally,” and lest I try to shake off ingratitude as “no big deal,” the outgrowth of thanklessness and ingratitude — enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, etc.– are set on equal footing with sexual immorality, drunkenness, orgies. Choosing gratitude is an important choice. My spiritual health is at stake.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:22-24
Lord, give me a heart of gratitude. Kill the flesh, and help me to rely on You for a heart of thankfulness.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Lt us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Galatians 5:25-26
Again, gratitude is not natural, but it is a free gift of God for the Christian. Being thankful does not give me cause to boast or to think I have arrived. Gratitude is contentment with what God gives, and content with the assignment my Master has given me.
Not being “resigned to fate” — choosing gratitude comes from a heart of trust in a God of steadfast love and faithfulness.
Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Psalm 25:4,5
God, I am so grateful to You!