This year has been a tough year for millions of people all over the world. People have died because of COVID-19, others have committed suicide, people have lost businesses, their homes and everything they have worked for. It has been a tragic year. Earlier this year I didn’t work for 5 weeks, I didn’t know if I was going back to my job. Through that time, I was still grateful to God for having a roof over my head and food on the table. It was difficult. One thing I have learned over the years, to be grateful for what I have; being homeless, living in my car, little possessions, living in prison, and a life of singleness.

I’m on my delayed honeymoon, as I write I am sitting outside a beautiful cottage looking over the bay in Yanakie, Wilsons Promontory, feeling very grateful. I am overwhelmed with gratefulness towards God. It brings me to tears. My wife and I got married earlier in the year over zoom. Because of the restrictions in Melbourne, we weren’t able to travel. We had to delay the honeymoon 3 times because of restrictions. I still had my moments of, why God? Overall, I was grateful for everything I had.

Yesterday we went for a walk along tongue point track in Wilsons Promontory. It is approximately 8kms return. The views are spectacular. As I was admiring the view, it overwhelmed me with gratitude towards God; for His creation, and for my life. I know what it is like to be hungry, homeless, to be in Prison. I also know what it is like to have things I enjoy. A new laptop for my birthday, a new camera for Christmas. At all stages of my life, just having a few clothes or being blessed with luxuries of life.

Strongs definition of gratitude is actively being grateful to God, as an act of worship: That is being thankful, (giving of) thanks (-giving). It’s important to come to a stage in life; no matter what you have or where you live, having gratitude for life can bring you much joy and peace. When I was in prison, my gratitude towards God was a key to my attitude and a life of peace. I found something different each day to be grateful for. Every day I gave thanks to God. Some days were tough, I found strength having gratitude.

Gratitude takes the focus off of us and directs it to God. It is easy to go down a path and look at what we don’t have, or things we might want or need. If our gratitude is on God, then our eyes are on what He has done rather than down a path of angst. It’s also important to show gratitude for creation. I often show gratitude for something I have seen. If I see a bee, I’ll show gratitude because it produces honey. Gods creation is for our enjoyment, so why not express gratitude for it? Sometimes I’m so grateful for Gods creation it brings me to tears. I feel blessed going for a walk to the beach, or the mountains.

I encourage you, as the new year approaches, attempt to express gratitude towards God. Be thankful for the things you have, and the things you don’t have. It will bring you a joy that is satisfying to the heart.

1Th 5:18 NLT – 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

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