Every year people come up with New Year’s resolutions they want to keep. It could be trying to loss ten pounds or reading my Bible and praying on a daily basis. These are good things but one thing we really need to focus on is learning to be more grateful in the coming years.
Psychologist Dr. David DeSteno makes some interesting observations about gratitude. “When life's got you down, gratitude can seem like a chore. Sure, you'll go through the motions and say the right things… But you might not truly feel grateful in your heart. It can be like saying 'I'm happy for you' to someone who just got the job you wanted. The words and the feelings often don't match.”
The mismatch, he suggests, comes from looking at gratitude the wrong way—looking only to the past for the things we’re grateful for, rather than looking to the future.
When life gets you down, does gratitude seem like a chore? Could it be that you are looking at gratitude the wrong way? As Dr. DeSteno concludes, "On the deepest, unconscious level, gratitude is really about being grateful for the actions that are yet to come."
Remember that it's God's eternal promises that are intended to bring you joy and peace in believing, no matter what your current circumstances might be. The true power of gratitude is in looking forward. So this coming year make a conscientious effort to look forward to the things that are to come.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope" (Romans 15:13, ESV).