The Value of Gratitude

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. –Psalm 100:4

The movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was released in 2005 and starred Johnny Depp as the famous Willy Wonka. In the movie, five lucky children were exclusively invited inside the chocolate factory. Veruca Salt, Augustus Gloop, Mike Teavee, Violet Beauregarde and Charlie Bucket were the lucky five who found the golden tickets.

If you have seen the movie, you are probably aware that each of the children who entered had character flaws. Veruca was selfish and self absorbed; she thought that she deserved everything. Augustus was a glutton; he could not seem to stop overindulging, no matter what warnings were thrown his way. Mike had no respect for authority and a quick temper. He bullied his parents and anyone else who was around. Violet was highly competitive and would do anything to win, even if it meant being blue for the rest of her life. And then there was Charlie. What was he? Grateful.

People who are grateful are the people who you see walking around life with joy written on their hearts and shining through their eyes. These are the people who have learned to appreciate what they have been given and normally, are not focused only on stuff or things. They are thinking about friends, family, loved ones. Take a look at what the Bible, in the book of Romans, says about the ungrateful.

“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Romans 1:21)

The Bible tells us that we come into the Lord’s presence when we are grateful and give thanks. It is gratefulness that softens each person’s heart, helping him or her to be aware of the blessings each has been given.

Charlie understood. He did not need all the money or all the chocolate in the world to be happy. He had a life overflowing with the love of those who were around him. He did not dwell on what he did not have, but focused on all he did have. He was grateful. Truly, it is those who are grateful, no matter their circumstances, which end up with uncountable blessings for eternity.

1. Make a list of five things that you are thankful for in your life.

2. Why does it sometimes get hard to be happy with what you have or your circumstances?

1 Samuel 25:37-40; 1 Thessalonians 5:8; Philippians 4:19

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Kelly McFadden

Kelly McFadden is a wife and mother and is part of the HomeWord daily devotional writing team. Kelly graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2000 with a degree in journalism. Following a season of playing professional volleyball and training with the US National team, Kelly returned to school and received her Masters in Christian Education from Azusa Pacific University.

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