The Grateful Heart Is a Happy Heart

Devotional Archive

Day 21 - December 17, 2022

The Grateful Heart Is a Happy Heart

“Be thankful always, pray at all times, and be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus.” - 1 Thess. 5: 16-18

Advent is a great season to become grateful for what we have and what we have received from above. Let’s start thanking God for all things including everything we complain and carp about, and then watch closely for what happens. After all, He brings good out of the worst and unhappy situations - even when we have caused the situations. If He brought forgiveness, resurrection, and healing out of His cross and death, He can bring goodness out of anything; hence the reason to thank Him for even adverse situations of life.

The story goes of God’s appearing to a man and offering him three wishes. The man said, “Well, Lord, I’m a little embarrassed to ask for the first wish but my wife is such a nag that I ask you take her back.” The Lord did just that. At the wake people were saying to the man things like, “Oh, she was such a wonderful lady! She did more than her share of the work of keeping the house and yard tidy. She was such a great cook. She really supported you and raised the kids well. She taught them to respect you.”

Well, all of such comments made the man think he made a really big mistake with his first wish, so for his second wish, he asked that the Lord bring his wife back to life. And God did so. After that, the Lord waited and waited for the man to ask for his third and final wish, but the man never asked.

So God came to him and said, “I’m waiting to hear your third and final wish.” The man replied, “I’m afraid to ask because when I made a blunder with my first request, at least I had a second wish to correct it. If I make a mistake with my third request, I have no fourth one to correct it, so I’m afraid to ask.” “Hmm,” said the Lord. “Would you like some help deciding upon your final request?’ “Yes, I most certainly would, Lord,” the man replied. “What would you suggest?” “Why don’t you ask for,” said the Lord, “a grateful heart?! That way, no matter what happens in your life, you’ll be happy!”

In the light of this story and this season of hope, we need to ask often “What’s the good emanating from a bad element in my life?” Then thank God for all of that. Gratitude is a desideratum for a happy and peaceful life. Let us all pray for grateful hearts often!

What are some happy as well as unhappy situations that we can thank God for during this season of Advent?

by Rev. Justin D. Gnanamuthu, C.S.C.

Thank you, Lord, for bringing something good out of a bad situation. Help me, Lord, to see the good you have brought out of the bad in my life. Help me, Lord, to see the good you are currently bringing out of the bad in my life. I thank You, Lord, for this season of Advent which reminds me of the hope you have brought to me by your birth. I thank You, God, for everything.

“Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind” – Lionel Hampton

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