“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?”
— William Arthur Ward motivational author
In Acts 16, Paul and Silas, two preachers in the New Testament, went to Philippi to speak. Their audience was less than receptive to their message and instead stoned and jailed them. At midnight in a dark jail cell, Paul and Silas began praying, singing praise, and thanking God. God then sent a miraculous earthquake that opened the doors of the jail and loosened their chains.
When the Roman jailer saw this, he was so shaken by the scene he almost committed suicide, but Paul and Silas stopped him by telling their story of transformation through faith in Christ. He became a follower of Jesus right there. His whole family followed his example and were also baptized that night.
Gratitude can do amazing things but only if you share it. The British author, G.B. Stern, once said: “Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” Your story, your testimony in Christ, helps no one if you keep it bottled up and private. However, if you share it, several wonderful things can happen:
1st: Your faith in God is strengthened. When you share God with others, God shares with you.
2nd: You’ll feel better. Countless research studies have shown that people you continually feel grateful are healthier both physically and mentally.
3rd: Your shared gratitude can be modeled. By sharing your gratitude to God with others, you share a life-changing message. You show others, who may not understand that they have purpose, what their worth is in the eyes of the Lord and how valuable and instrumental they are in God’s plan. What a wonderful gift to give and share with others. 4th: Your message can have a ripple effect. Imagine changing one person’s life with your message of gratitude. Now imagine that person sharing it with another and another and another. Your testimony in Christ can impact several generations, but only if you tell it.
God does not want gratitude to be a to-do item to check off on a holiday that takes place only once a year. He wants it to be a lifestyle. Isaiah 12:4 says, “Thank the Lord! Praise his name! Tell the world about his wondrous love and how mighty he is!” When you do this, you change your life, your perception of the world and those around you, and increase your level of joy.