July 12, 2021 | Chad Pervier

The morning begins with a hot cup of coffee and some alone time on the back porch. Rain is coming down in a steady drizzle, not hard enough to quiet the waking birds going about their business. Fish are jumping in the pond and a breeze keeps the humidity in the air from feeling sticky. For as long as it takes to down that first cup of coffee, I feel at peace. I am grateful to be present and to notice the beauty in my own backyard.

To be grateful does not mean you must ignore the fact that your life is not perfect. In fact, when you live life with gratitude you focus on the things you appreciate.  Choosing to focus on the positives in your life allows you to handle difficult situations from a different perspective. When life gets hard, it’s good to remember that there are positive things waiting for you at the end of those challenging times.

Showing your appreciation to others when they are kind to you is a way to help others feel grateful in themselves. That is something that does not come naturally to me. I never expected a “thank you” for doing a nice thing and did not feel bad if I didn’t get one in return. That mindset worked in the opposite direction as well. I did not thank others because I assumed they were being kind because they wanted to. My wife finally made me realize that being kind and giving thanks make people feel better.

When you think of the things for which you are thankful, how does it make you feel? Is there joy in being thankful? Happiness? Do your steps feel a little lighter or does it bring a smile to your face? Maybe it’s all of the above. I think that gratitude and giving thanks are important to being happy.

Psalm 118:1 says “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever” (NIV). What more encouragement do you need to be thankful? When we give thanks to the Lord we are blessed with His endless love. As grateful as I am for the peace that comes with my morning coffee, it pales in comparison to the eternal peace that comes with accepting Jesus Christ as your savior. And for that, I am thankful.

This post was written by a group of volunteer writers who strive to share God's truth through an online platform, but may not reflect the views of The Vineyard Church as a whole. To learn how you can get involved, email us at  .