And just as Jesus taught that she who is forgiven much loves much, it increases my love for Him.
Not only does gratitude grow my love for Christ, but it strengthens my faith as well. When I realize all He has endured and done for me in the past, I grow confident He can and will see me through today and tomorrow.
Gratefulness over the past says to my worry over today, "God will be as merciful, rescuing and gracious today as He was then. He never changes. You, however, can and will."
John Piper explains it this way in the book Future Grace:
"There is a sense in which gratitude and faith are interwoven joys that strengthen each other. As gratitude joyfully revels in the benefits of past grace, so faith joyfully relies on the benefits of future grace. Therefore when gratitude for God’s past grace is strong, the message is sent that God is supremely trustworthy in the future because of what he has done in the past. In this way faith is strengthened by a lively gratitude for God’s past trustworthiness."
When I take the time to recall and recite my gratitude, God comes strongly into perspective. My problems dwindle to size. And eternity seems a bit closer than it did before the welling of my remembrance and gratefulness.
Are your problems looking huge today? Even insurmountable? Perhaps it would help to reflect on some of the hills you and Jesus have already climbed.
Thankful for the spiritual summits, which also provide hope in the valleys.