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Living with Gratitude Every Day
By Victoria Osteen - Apr 28, 2020
I talked with a man whose long recovery from cancer had been very difficult. He said, “But let me tell you, Victoria, now I see my life in a completely different light than how I viewed my life before cancer. Today, my important things are my friends and family. When you’ve had cancer, you realize that experiencing and appreciating what you have every day is what’s important.”

I think that what he learned is something many of us are learning during this difficult stay-at-home season. It’s unfortunate that sometimes we have to lose something, or almost lose something, before we recognize the value in it and appreciate it. We start taking for granted one-of-a-kind things that can’t be replaced. There’s your mother, your father, your children, and your spouse for starters. Don’t neglect them. Don’t get so used to them that you forget the precious gift they really are. The happiest people are the ones who appreciate what they have right now and place value on it.

In Deuteronomy 10–12, God was taking the children of Israel into the Promised Land and describing all the wonderful gifts and abundance He was freely giving them. He said, “I’m giving you houses filled with great treasure so you can live in them. I’m giving you vineyards you didn’t plant and fields you didn’t plow so you can work them and enjoy the produce.” But then He warned them, “I’m giving you all these things, but don’t take them for granted. Don’t forget who gave it to you. Honor Me in it.”

We all should be remembering the gifts and abundance in our life through appreciation. God has given us a great country to live in. He’s given us family and friends, houses and places to work, and worship. Don’t take them for granted and start complaining about present hardships. Yes, we’re facing challenges. Things aren’t easy. But when we look for the lessons in what we’re experiencing, when we begin to look for what can build our character, when we see the treasure in the people we love, that’s when we’re going to find the value and the purpose.

When we appreciate God, and we appreciate the things God has given us, we give Him thanks and honor Him. Appreciation is a language we need to learn, and gratitude honors God. That’s why, wherever you are today, no matter how difficult it is, ask God to show you, “Where’s the value in this, God? This is something You’ve brought to me, so how can I appreciate it?” Happy people are the ones who can be appreciative of what they have right now on the way to where they’re going.
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