Devotional | Jemar Poteat | Nov 5, 2023

Expressing Gratitude to God

Expressing Gratitude to God

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Philippians 4:11

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. 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 4:12-13

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4


Consider it pure joy … I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances. I heard these Scriptures recited many times through childhood, but they have come to have a greater meaning with each year that passes. Having a heart of gratitude is more than saying “thank you” when God blesses us with a new car, job, house, or that spouse we’ve been praying for! It’s also saying, “God I know this season is hard and unfamiliar for me, but I trust you are working all things for my good! I trust you will keep me and establish me as you have so many other times in the past!” We count it all joy; we show gratitude! We trust God will keep us in perfect peace, if our minds are focused on him. Even though I can’t see the future, I know who holds my future, and for that, I can walk with a posture of gratitude.

Gratitude should be a part of our character as Christians. It changes our perspective of our surroundings. During this season, I am more intentional about starting my day with gratitude … finding five things to be grateful for before checking my text messages, email, social media, etc. Some days I succeed, others I don’t. I would often hear my grandmother pray, “Lord, I want to thank you that last night my bed didn’t become my cooling board”—she was just thanking God that he allowed her to see another day; she started the day with a heart of gratitude!

Growing up, Saturday mornings in our house were for cleaning, and I would wake up to gospel music blaring, the smell of pine sol, and my mother thanking Jesus for all he had done that week for our family. Whether we had money for the week or not, her heart of gratitude never waived! That is why I try to be intentional about walking with God throughout the day, thanking him for the “small things” I may overlook on a daily basis. I try to walk into meetings or conversations with friends or family with a sense of gratitude … “Lord, I am grateful for the opportunity to pour into this person, or grateful you allow this person to pour into me! I am grateful you have kept me in spite of my own decisions and actions.” My revelation of how good God is, and how he has kept me, grows with each season he brings me through.

According to The National Science Foundation, 80% of our thoughts are negative (past regrets, fear of the future, comparisons, blame, shame), and 95% of our thoughts are repetitive. If we walk out our days with a heart of gratitude, I believe we can take more of these thoughts captive, and our repetitive thoughts will be ones of God’s truths and promises!


God, help us walk out this Christian life in a state of gratitude so we maximize our spiritual potential and effectiveness for the kingdom! I pray our daily response will be one rooted in gratitude. Because our trust is in you … we can count it all joy. In the matchless name of Jesus we pray, Amen!

Jemar Poteat
Music Director, Central Ministry Support


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