On a scale of 1 – 10, where would you mark your level of gratitude? (10 – lots. 1 – not so much.) Does your score depend on your mood? Your circumstances? Your health? Your level of fatigue? By practicing 2 things, you can push your score closer to a 10.
Luke 17 tells the story of 10 lepers Jesus healed. Lepers were outcasts. Not included. Pushed away from the community. They had to live away from the safety, provisions, fellowship, and atmosphere of families and neighborhoods. They were the “untouchables.” People passed on the other side to avoid contact. No contact! That is a terrible thing to condemn a person to.
When Jesus came through town, He had a different approach. He completely understood the disease and how to correct it. But He also knew about a leper’s starved heart, aching soul, and mind that craved conversation and stimulation. He knew the isolation and rejection.
Jesus was in the habit of getting right up close to lepers. Smiling at them. Welcoming them to be near Him. He touched them. Lovingly. Kindly. Warmly. And they felt His love in their aching flesh. They felt it in their lonely hearts. His sincere care stimulated their minds.
Jesus spoke to these 10 lepers. For the first time in years, they felt respected. Jesus was in the habit of speaking amazing, simple words that brought huge results. Words like, “Be clean.” “Go show yourselves to the priests so they can let you back into the community.” “Believe in Me.”
There are 2 tests in this story. 10 lepers passed the first test. 1 passed the second test. 10 men decided it was worth the risk of trusting Jesus when He told them to show themselves to the priests. You see, Jesus had not yet healed them when He told them to do this. The men were healed on the way. They had to exercise faith in Jesus first by starting out on their way before they would notice any healing. 10 men passed the “faith test.”
One of the men who noticed he was healed as he was on his way, was so filled with thanksgiving that he promptly turned around and went back. His need to express thanks to Jesus overcame his own agenda and needs. He put everything on hold to thank Jesus! 1 man passed the “gratitude test.”
Very few people pass the “faith test” these days. Even fewer pass the “gratitude test.” If you choose to exercise faith and thanks, you will get closer to a 10 on the Gratitude Scale every time! Gratitude is a quality that defines your character. It gives you away. It finds you out. How have you been found out this Thanksgiving? Are you found with faith? Have you PAUSED to be thankful?
Do you pass these 2 tests? Jesus can handle every detail of your life. Simply trust Him. Thank Him for all He has already done – and for all He is doing that you cannot yet see.
More Scriptures on Practicing Faith and Thankfulness:
- Overflowing with thankfulness. Be watchful and thankful. (Col. 2:7; 3:15; 4: 2)
- Thankful because of having accurate perspective. (Heb. 12:28)
- Give thanks in all circumstances. It’s God’s will for you. (1 Thess. 5:18)
- Trust Jesus with all your heart. Don’t trust you own understanding. (Prov. 3:5-6)
- Faith moves mountains (Mt. 17:20)
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