Why are some people who seem to have the best of everything so discontented and full of frets and cares; while others who seem to be restricted and even impoverished in some ways are inspirations of gratitude? The Apostle Paul wrote a letter filled with joy to the Philippians while in a cold, stone prison. Imagine being chained to a guard in a smelly Roman prison and overflowing with thanksgiving.

The secret is to maintain an attitude of gratitude. In fact, our own early Army is filled with stories about people who had nothing in terms of material goods, but who had the joy of the Lord. Gratitude has a wonderful way of lifting our spirits by allowing us to count our blessings. Gratitude rejoices in what it has, not in what it thinks it should have. Gratitude seeks to find the silver lining behind the dark cloud.

It is true that there are times when our world will seem to cave in, but even then Christ Jesus says, "Fear not, it's me!" Focusing on Him and being grateful for His presence and promises will prevent us from becoming mumblers and grumblers. "…I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:12b-13).

Major Bill Kean is the corps officer in beautiful Triton, NL. His weekly coffee doodles complement his passion for preaching and teaching.

Leave a Comment