November 17, 2004
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.
Have you ever heard of the altitude of gratitude? I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, “It’s not your aptitude, but your attitude that determines your altitude.” I believe it’s your gratitude that determines your attitude that determines your altitude. Gratitude will lift you to heavenly places.
How do we get to the heavenly places and receive the blessings of God that are reserved for us there? It is by praise and thanksgiving that we are lifted. Prayer is the work of men, but praise is when angels worship. When we get to heaven, we are going to be doing that throughout all eternity. We need to start practicing right now for what we’re going to be doing in heaven.
Praise and thanksgiving will change your entire perspective on the conditions and circumstances that surround you on earth. I heard about a college coed who wrote her mother and dad a letter from college. She wrote:
“Dear Mom and Dad, I’m sorry to be so long in writing. Unfortunately all my stationary was destroyed the night our dorm was set on fire by the demonstrators. I’m out of the hospital now and the doctors say my eyesight should return sooner or later. The wonderful boy, Bill, who rescued me from the fire, offered to share his apartment with me until the dorm is rebuilt. He comes from a good family so I know you won’t be surprised when I tell you that we’re going to get married real soon. In fact, since you always wanted a grandchild, you’ll be glad to know you’ll be grandparents next month.
P.S. Please disregard the above practice in English composition and fiction. There was no fire. I haven’t been to the hospital and I’m not pregnant and I don’t even have a boyfriend. But I did get a “D” in French and an “F” in chemistry and I just wanted you to receive the news in the right perspective.
Praise and thanksgiving will change your perspective as well! It will elevate, enrich, and enlarge your life. The fact is, you can grovel, groan, gripe, and complain in your circumstances, or you can glory in the presence of God with thanksgiving and praise.
The reason that thanksgiving enlarges and elevates our lives is because the more things that I am grateful for the larger my range and benefit of blessings. If I limit my gratitude, I build a fence around my blessings, and my life becomes small, narrow, selfish, and self-centered. But when I open my life to God and in everything giving thanks to Him, life’s possibilities are unlimited.
You and I have a greater capacity to receive those blessings of God—to reach a new altitude of thanksgiving. While most of us are very good at enlarging our prayer list, what we need to start doing is enlarging our praise list no matter our circumstances.
PRAYER BRINGS HEAVEN TO US, AND PRAISE TAKES LIFTS US INTO THE VERY PRESENCE OF GOD FOR HE INHABITS THE PRAISES OF HIS PEOPLE.