"The grateful heart that springs forth in joy is not acquired in a moment, it is the fruit of a thousand choices". "Choosing Gratitude, p. 68
As with any habit, one of gratitude will take steady, slow plodding. But, praise the Lord, he has made us strong, and will not stop refining us until that day when we see him face to face!
Some of the reasons Nancy DeMoss shares for cultivating this "habit", or heart, are...
~It is an act of obedience, as commanded in Colossians 3:17. "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
~Because it brings us closer to our Lord. Think of it... we have a continual audience with God, for bringing both our needs AND our praises!
~It brings the Lord's peace ("Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." ~Philippians 4:6-7)
~It is the evidence of and a mirror of Christ's spirit in us. We see many instances where Christ "gave thanks", and his spirit enables us to do the same!
~And this was my favorite point she made... it's preparation for heaven!!! Revelation tells us again and again that the angels, saints, and seraphim continually praise him! This is just the start of a glorious eternity!!!!
This thought of habits made me think of something that happened to me awhile ago. Have you ever thought of the fact that the answer you give to the question "how are you doing" can be a form of worship, thanks, and witness for our Savior?
"I've been doing pretty good, how about you?", I answered the older gentleman at church.
"Just good? Not great? How about blessed?!", he enthusiastically quaried.
It was kind of eye opening to me. I can be including a "thank you" to the Lord in polite "how-dee-doos". "The Lord has blessed me!" An acknowledgement to my Savior, and a witness to him to those that I'm talking to. And I can testify that this man does practice what he preaches, because I have heard him respond many times to the question how his week was with "I've been blessed!"
Habits, even small ones like a new phrase to answer a common question with, are not broken or made easily. But I think our habits get to the heart of the matter. If I am truly grateful to my Lord, EVERY act will be an act of worship. Even if it isn't whining, if it's not worship, it's not the best I can give my King!