gratitude essay

Gratitude Essay

As I prayed and thought about the post for today I wondered just how many ways, how many times can we write about being thankful? I thought I would start out with gratitude this week. What it is, and what it is not.

In researching the internet, you know the ever faithful “Google”. I find that there is a trend going around called “Positive Psychology.” I thought I would include some of what I found in this gratitude essay.

What is gratitude?

One article I found from Positive Psychology Program listed some definitions of gratitude that I thought may help us understand this elusive feeling. I know we all want the feel good, happy, pleasant feelings all the time and sometimes it seems they are so far away. So, let’s just see just how science today defines gratitude:

“if we acquire a good through exchange, effort or achievement, or by right, then we don’t typically feel gratitude. Gratitude is an emotion we feel in response to receiving something good which is undeserved” (Lacewing, 2016).

I like this definition because it seems to match the Bible. God gives us what we do not deserve. All of us here on earth are sinful, we do not deserve the strength, the health, or even to be alive. We do not deserve the hope of heaven. We deserve hell if anything.

Another definition for this gratitude essay is:

“an emotion that is typically evoked when one receives costly, unexpected, and intentionally rendered benefits, and is thought to play a key role in regulating the initiation and maintenance of social relationships” (Forster et al., 2017).

What happens when someone gives you something or does something you never expected? Does that help you feel good for that person? I may be struggling with this a bit though. I tend to let history cloud my gratitude when someone who has hurt me does something nice.

gratitude essay
an open book

I tend to use my marriage as an example a bit much lately. But it is what is on my mind all the time. I am trying to let God teach me to be the wife my husband deserves, and let God do the work He needs to do in my husband. But, here is an example of the past clouding my gratitude.

My personal experience for this gratitude essay

Just recently my husband bought me a coffee from a local coffee shop. Automatically my thoughts of the many times that he would insist on buying the expensive coffees when we are broke came to mind. The hurt, the fear of how we are going to make it.

What did not come to mind is all the times I expressed to him I needed more than just physical love from him. I needed to be appreciated, loved for who I am. I did not express gratitude that he thought of me, only me in buying that coffee. I let my hurt and pain stay and cloud my judgment.

That attitude did not help our relationship. My husband was making a grand gesture that he could do with our circumstances. I stopped myself I looked at him and said, “What I should say to you is thank you very much, I really appreciate that you thought of me.”

Final thoughts for this gratitude essay

You see, it is so easy to lose sight of being thankful. Even when a person is trying their hardest to do something nice. Something to say I know you are hurting let me do this to try to make up for it. Yes, ok a bought coffee will not make up for everything. But it is a step. I need to make a step in learning to be grateful instead of letting the past hold us back.

What about you? Do you have trouble expressing gratitude when someone you are upset with does something nice? Please share your ideas with us! Would love to have you join our community and join the discussion in our Thankful Thursday group!

Outside sources

Essay on Gratitude#1 Essay on Gratitude Towards Parents. Gratitude is one of the most underestimated ways anyone can use to enrich their lives. It is the feeling and attitude of …
Billy Graham: How to Be Thankful in All ThingsNov 21, 2017  But even so, we all have much to be thankful for. Look with me at … A spirit of thanksgiving is always the mark of a joyous Christian. Why should …
10 Things You Can Be Thankful For Today | CruWe’re told in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to give thanks in everything. … I know that I have been made right with You because of my faith in Your Son, Jesus Christ. 2.
How To Be Truly Thankful- 4 Tips to Develop Christian Gratitude …Nov 4, 2017  Do you feel it? There’s almost an unspoken pressure in the realm of Christian social media circles to be thankful for each day you have on earth …
4 Reasons We Can Be Thankful in Times of TroubleNov 23, 2017  As Christians we can be thankful that we are children of the sovereign Lord. Even when our life seems to be spinning out of control, we can trust …
30 Christian Quotes about ThankfulnessNov 14, 2016  1 Thing Christians Forget to be Thankful For – Why would I be thankfulfor these things? These horrible, depressing times of life? Because one …
5 things to be thankful for no matter what“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18. What is so special about thankfulness is that thoughts like …
Why is giving thanks to God important?First Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” We are to be thankful not only for the things we like, but for …
The Power of a Thankful HeartNov 18, 2015  “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” – (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Enmeng Womens Blessed Thankful Printed T-Shirt …Buy Enmeng Womens Blessed Thankful Printed T-Shirt Casual Thanksgiving ChristianTee Tops: Shop top fashion brands T-Shirts at ✓ FREE …

Day 57 of 100 prophecies – Conquer death through his resurrection

his resurrectionPs. 16:8-11 – I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 9 Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely. 10 For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. 11 You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Ps. 49:15 – But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol, For He will receive me. Ps. 86:13 – For Your lovingkindness toward me is great, And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol

Acts 2:24-36 – But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. 25 For David says of Him,
‘I saw the Lord always in my presence; For He is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken. 26 ‘Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exulted; Moreover my flesh also will live in hope; 27 Because You will not abandon my soul to Hades, Nor allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. 28 ‘You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of gladness with Your presence.’ 29
“ Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. 32 This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. 34 For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand,
35 Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”’ 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”

Acts 13:30-39 – But God raised Him from the dead; 31 and for many days He appeared to those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, the very ones who are now His witnesses to the people. 32 And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, 33 that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘You are My Son; today i have begotten You.’ 34 As for the fact that He raised Him up from the dead, no longer to return to decay, He has spoken in this way: ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’ 35 Therefore He also says in another Psalm, ‘You will not allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.’ 36 For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers and underwent decay; 37 but He whom God raised did not undergo decay. 38 Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses.

1 Cor. 15:3-4 –  For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures

Just As I Am without one plea is the song. How will we respond?

There is a part of us that doesn’t want to admit that God is enough, that we can come to Him “just as I am” – as we are. Broken, sinful, lost, confused, filled with feelings, overwhelmed, stressed, stretched, and seemingly without hope. All that aside, the truth of the matter is that God really does accept us the way we are. Are there things that He needs to change? I would say a resounding “yes”, but God is able to create those changes in us.
Do you remember the prodigal son? When he came to his senses, he came to his father just as he was – dirty, stinky, shamed, broken – and his father ran to greet him and honored him as his son. Dear reader, God will do the same for you and for me as soon as we make the step to come. “Just as I am without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me.” That is the way we need to respond to His open arms. Here are the lyrics to this inspired song.

Just As I Am without one plea

           Sheet music for the hymn, “Just As I Am”. Lyrics below

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!
Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot;
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt;
Fightings within, and fears without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind;
Yes, all I need, in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Day 56 of 100 prophecies fulfilled by Jesus – Be raised from the dead


raised from the dead

                                          The empty tomb

Ps. 16:8-11 – I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 9 Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely. 10 For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. 11 You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Luke 24:6-8 – He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, 7 saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” 8 And they remembered His words,

Acts 1:3 – To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.

Acts 2:32 – This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.

Acts 13:34-37 –  As for the fact that He raised Him up from the dead, no longer to return to decay, He has spoken in this way: ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’ 35 Therefore He also says in another Psalm, ‘You will not allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.’ 36 For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers and underwent decay; 37 but He whom God raised did not undergo decay.

2 Tim. 2:8 – Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel,

(See also John 20. Here is the link.)     John 20

Day 55 of 100 prophecies fulfilled by Jesus – Be hung on a tree as a curse for us –


Hung on a tree

Looking at an empty cross from the ground up

Deut. 21:23 – his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance.
Gal. 3:13 – Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”

Day 54 of 100 prophecies fulfilled by Jesus – be lifted up like the serpent

100 prophecies

                                                   the cross of Jesus Christ

Num. 21:8-9 –  Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he will live.” 9 And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived.

John 3:14-15 – As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.

Day 53 of 100 prophecies – “Passover sacrifice with no bone broken”

passover sacrifice

                                      Passover lamb

Ex. 12:46 – It is to be eaten in a single house; you are not to bring forth any of the flesh outside of the house, nor are you to break any bone of it.

Num. 9:12 – They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break a bone of it; according to all the statute of the Passover they shall observe it.

Ps. 34:20 – He keeps all his bones, Not one of them is broken.

no bone broken


John 19:31-35 – Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him; 33 but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe.

the passover lamb

Day 52 of 100 prophecies fulfilled by Jesus -Jesus was the Passover lamb

The full title for today’s post was supposed to be “The Passover male lamb, without blemish, slain with blood applied as protection from judgment” , but with only 75 characters for the title, it would not fit! But one thing that does fit is this – Jesus blood paid it all, and protects us from the judgment and condemnation of Hell. 
Continue reading

the day of the Lord

Day 51 of 100 prophecies – Prophet sent before the day of the Lord

the day of the Lord

a drawing of men digging wells in Old Testament times

Mal. 4:5-6 – 5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of Jehovah come. 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers; lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Mat. 11:13-14 – For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if ye are willing to receive it, this is Elijah, that is to come.

Mark 9:11-13 – And they asked him, saying, [a]How is it that the scribes say that Elijah must first come? 12 And he said unto them, Elijah indeed cometh first, and restoreth all things: and how is it written of the Son of man, that he should suffer many things and be set at nought? 13 But I say unto you, that Elijah is come, and they have also done unto him whatsoever they would, even as it is written of him.
Luke 1:17 –
And he shall go before his face in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to walk in the wisdom of the just; to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him.

Luke 7:27-28 – This is he of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, Who shall prepare thy way before thee. 28 I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there is none greater than John: yet he that is but little in the kingdom of God is greater than he.

development training

Development Training Pastor Austin Taylor Interview

What is your position with Life.Church Online?

My role is Development Training Pastor, which means that I oversee the initial training process new Church Online volunteers go through when they join the team, as well as their ongoing leadership development throughout their time serving with us. I love supporting our amazing team!

How long have you been a Development Training Pastor?

I’ve been on the Church Online staff team for 6 1/2 years. But I’ve been in this specific role for about a year and a half. I’m so grateful to work for a church that places such a high value on equipping people. So they can do what God has called them to do.

Can you describe to me a typical workday as a Development Training Pastor?

This is kind of an impossible question, haha! Ministry is so dynamic and every day can look totally different. It all depends on the needs of the team and our community. In a typical work week, I have meetings with the rest of the Church Online staff team to review the previous week’s stories and metrics, track our team’s progress toward annual goals and strategize for the upcoming message week; write content for our weekly “Tuesday Talk” [Facebook Live training video for our volunteers], then meet with the other pastors to rehearse and film it; plan logistics for upcoming international travels for our team; connect with volunteers, leaders, and givers in our community; and review our existing bank of volunteer training to identify where we need updates or new resources.

A couple of other projects I’m working on at the moment are researching current Learning & Development best practices to find learning we can apply from the business world into our team and interviewing job applicants for open roles within Digerati [Life.Church’s digital missions department, which includes teams like Church Online and YouVersion.

Share a funny story as a Development Training Pastor.

Here’s one of my favorites: A few years ago, my work laptop was downloading a software update that was going to take 8 minutes or so. I couldn’t really do any more work until it finished, so I decided to take a quick power nap at my desk while it was downloading. When I woke up, I lifted my head and realized I wasn’t looking into my laptop screen, but my team leaders.

She had Skyped the entire rest of our team on a group video call, and they were all laughing and taking pictures of me sleeping. When I realized what was happening, we all started cracking up! I love working with a team that works hard—and pranks hard—together.

What is most challenging in your job?

Our Church Online volunteer team currently includes 630 people serving from over 50 countries. They represent every kind of cultural and church background you can imagine, and most of them have never stepped foot in a Life.Church location. We absolutely love the diversity of our global and remote team, but from a training perspective, it does present the unique challenge of making sure everyone is fully aligned as they serve. We’re constantly reevaluating our volunteer training and communication to make sure that we’re consistently reinforcing our mission, core beliefs, and DNA in everything we do. As Patrick Lencioni would say, we need to be the “CROs” (Chief Reminding Officers) of Life.Church’s vision.

Can you share an inspirational story?

Yes—I could share 1,000 if you’d let me! We hear so many incredible stories of lives being changed each and every week at Life.Church Online.

Here’s one of my favorites: A few months ago, I was in a Church Online service at and got to connect with Moussa from—get this—Timbuktu! It’s a real place in Mali, a predominantly Muslim country in West Africa. He had just gotten off work and told us that it was his first time attending with us. I believe it was quite possibly his first church service ever. He stayed for the entire service and asked several questions along the way.

How amazing is it that our church is able to reach people like Moussa in places like Timbuktu?!

What is one piece of wisdom you would like to share with my audience?

If you love Jesus, have the heart to reach the nations, and have internet [which I know you do, if you’re reading this!], God can use you and your gifts to impact people all over the globe through Church Online. We want to equip you to become a digital missionary—all without leaving your home. All you have to do is say yes! Come join us and be part of a global movement that’s taking the Gospel to every corner of the world.

As our Senior Pastor Craig Groeschel said recently, serving always changes lives—and the first one to change is always your own. Learn more here:

How do you navigate family life and ministry?

This is another area I could write volumes on because it’s so important for any leader. To keep it brief, here are a few key principles I try to stick to:

1) God first, family second, ministry third. My priorities have to remain in that order.

2) Be 100% present at work and 100% present at home. Both deserve my full attention and energy.

3) Find mental stopping points. At the end of each workday, I take a few minutes to wrap up whatever I’m working on, recap and assess my work from that day, quickly glance over my calendar to prep for the next day, and mentally transition out of work mode so I can be fully engaged at home.

4) Understand seasons. There will always be short-term seasons when my work life or home life will require a little more of me than usual, and it’s up to me to communicate about them to my family and team leader.

development training
street sign with the word Leadership

outside sources

Life Church Online Church Room

Life Church Online website

YouTube Streaming

Life Church Life Group on Facebook

Pastor Steven Roberts on Facebook

Open Network Life Church Free Resources

YouVersion Bible App

Austin Taylor

Learn to become a pastor

Pastor/Leadership Development