By Rick Warren
“Sink your roots in him and build on him. Be strengthened by the faith that you were taught, and overflow with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:7 GW)
An attitude of radical gratitude is God’s will for you because it develops your faith.
How does gratitude develop my faith? It happens when times are tough — when things don’t make sense, when you can’t figure it out, when your prayers are unanswered, when everything is going the way you didn’t want it to go. It happens when you can say in those circumstances, “God, I know you’re in control. I know you love me, and I know you can bring good out of this. I’m thankful that you’re bigger than my problem.”
Anybody can thank God for good things. But if you can thank God even in the bad times, your faith will grow stronger as your roots go deeper.
Habakkuk was going through tough times. He said, “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” (Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV).
In the midst of all the bad things that went wrong, Habakkuk rejoiced. What’s his cause of gratitude? “I will be joyful in God my Savior.” When everything else stinks in life, you can be grateful because the Lord is your Savior. He will pull you out. You are not by yourself. He hasn’t abandoned you. Give thanks to God!
That is the ultimate test of the depth of your faith. Can you thank God when life stinks? When you’re going through tough times, don’t look at what’s lost. Look at what’s left, and be grateful for it!
You can be thankful to God just for being God. He has promised to see you through those tough situations, and your faith will grow even stronger because of it.
Colossians 2:7 says, “Sink your roots in him and build on him. Be strengthened by the faith that you were taught, and overflow with thanksgiving” (GW).
God’s will is radical gratitude — in all things give thanks. Why? Gratitude honors God, it creates fellowship, and it develops your faith.
Talk It Over
- What is your usual reaction to difficult circumstances? How do you think God wants you to respond?
- What does it mean to honor God?
- How have you seen God strengthen your faith through the difficult circumstances of your life?