Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge
Retrieved from: 
https://www.reviveourhearts.com/static/challenges/30DayGratitude.pdf

Day 30: November 30

Galatians 5:16–24 As you launch out on a new lifestyle of gratitude, use today to set some goals for what you want God to accomplish in your heart, being specific about the ways you intend to practice ongoing thankfulness. For example, if you want to become more deliberate about writing thank-you notes, how many would you like send in a typical week or month? What Scriptures do you plan to memorize and meditate on in relation to thankfulness? Whom will you ask to hold you accountable for specific areas where you need to grow in the grace of gratitude? Whatever mechanics it requires to get it up and running will soon fall away to the freedom of pursuing it with passion. Are you ready to experience the life-changing power of Christian gratitude? Then let the Lord help you decide what your next steps should be. Write a simple prayer, expressing to the Lord your desire to develop a radically grateful lifestyle. Thank Him for His supernatural grace that will enable you to “abound in thanksgiving.”

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge
Retrieved from: 
https://www.reviveourhearts.com/static/challenges/30DayGratitude.pdf

Day 29: November 29

Deuteronomy 6:1–12

If you’ve been blessed with children, you know that gratitude doesn’t come naturally for them. But few things are more remarkable (and unusual) in children today than when they’re known for their thankful, contented spirit. While teaching and instruction have their place in growing gratitude in our kids, the best teacher of all is our example. Do your children hear you thank your husband when he tackles a home repair job? Do they hear you express gratitude to the Lord and to others for both little and big things throughout the day? Conversely, do they hear you grumble when your husband delays dinner by needing to see one extra client or when you get a flat tire or the sun doesn’t come out for a week? Gratitude is more effectively caught than taught. How contagious are you, especially at home? Sit down and talk with your children about the high value God places on gratitude. Tell them how they’re going to start seeing some “gratitudinal” changes in you. If you don’t have children of your own, think about who God has placed in your sphere of influence. What are you teaching them about gratitude by your lifestyle?

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge
Retrieved from: 
https://www.reviveourhearts.com/static/challenges/30DayGratitude.pdf

Day 28: November 28

Philippians 1:3–11

If expressing gratitude is to become a way of life for us, we can’t treat it as an optional exercise. If it never gets beyond our wish list, if it nestles down with all the other nice things we hope to get around to someday, the “someday” of gratitude will never roll around on our calendars. So I want to encourage you to think of gratitude as being a debt you owe, the same way you’re called upon to pay your monthly bills. Start a list designated as “Gratitude Accounts,” specific listings of individuals to whom you owe a debt of thanks. By doing this, you can make it a point today to make a phone call just to thank a friend for the way she’s shown her concern for you during a difficult time. When the Lord opens a window of opportunity for you to jot a quick thank-you note this evening, you’ll have a ready-made list of people to choose from. We all have gratitude accounts. There just aren’t many of us who keep them paid up. Make sure you’re becoming the type of person who stays current on your bill.


 

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge
Retrieved from: 
https://www.reviveourhearts.com/static/challenges/30DayGratitude.pdf

Day 27: November 27

1 Timothy 4:11–16

As we near the end of this gratitude challenge, take a little quiz today to see where you’re growing and where you still need work. Try answering these questions candidly—not just yes or no, but with supporting details that come to mind: (1) Do I often complain about my circumstances, feeling like I deserve better? (2) Do others hear me voice more complaints and negative comments than words of gratitude about the typical events of daily life? (3) Would others describe me as a thankful person? (4) What evidence is there that I have a grateful or an ungrateful spirit? (5) How often do I begin statements with these words: “I am so thankful that . . .”? (6) Do I more frequently display a pessimistic, negative outlook or a positive, grateful perspective? (7) Am I reserved or eager when it comes to expressing appreciation to others? (8) My most recent expression of gratitude was … If you haven’t done so already, consider taking this gratitude challenge into an accountability setting, letting others help you stay true to your commitment, while being there to offer your support to them as well.

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge
Retrieved from: 
https://www.reviveourhearts.com/static/challenges/30DayGratitude.pdf

Day 26: November 26

Ezra 3:8–13

On October 3, 1863, at the height of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued a Proclamation of Thanksgiving, calling the nation to observe a “day of Thanksgiving and Praise.” This proclamation eventually led to the establishing of our national day of Thanksgiving. The document began by listing multiple blessings the nation had experienced through the course of the year, even in the midst of a severe conflict. It called the American people to recognize the Source of those blessings and to respond collectively to the Giver in gratitude, repentance, and intercession. Today, try crafting your own declaration of thanksgiving. Use some of the insights the Lord has been growing in you these last few weeks. Incorporate some of the Scriptures that have particularly touched you. And dedicate your life to what these words of yours are saying. Then share what you’ve written with your family or a close friend. Be an igniter of gratitude by encouraging those you love and care about to cultivate a thankful heart.


 

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge
Retrieved from: 
https://www.reviveourhearts.com/static/challenges/30DayGratitude.pdf

Day 22: November 22

Proverbs 30:7–9

You may have heard some preachers and teachers leave the impression that God intends for every Christian to be materially rich. Others go too far the other way, proudly wearing poverty like a cloak of self-righteous sainthood. Today’s proverb puts a proper perspective on the whole thing. The Word is teaching us to focus more on being grateful for where we are—not only because to do otherwise would be sinful and proud, but also because we don’t know what the Lord may be saving us from by not giving us everything we might want. Even if we possess much less than others have, if our hearts are full of gratitude, neither money nor the lack of it can shake our contented dependence on God. Ask the Lord to show you if there is any root of discontentment or “love of money” in your heart. Ask Him to provide just what He knows you need—enough to keep you from being tempted to sin to get your needs met, but not so much that you no longer need to rely on Him as your Provider. Take some time to thank Him for His practical, material provision in your life.

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge
Retrieved from: 
https://www.reviveourhearts.com/static/challenges/30DayGratitude.pdf

Day 21: November 21

Proverbs 21:2–9

When you read the above passage, you could probably guess which verse I wanted to highlight: “It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife” (v. 9). And, yes, I am serious about the dangers posed by tongues that are contentious, combative, and discontented. But while heeding this as a warning, let’s also turn it into a positive. If one of the blessings of gratitude is that it makes us generally happier people, it follows that gratitude makes those who live with us happier too. The restorative power of a grateful heart and tongue is more potent than we can imagine, as is the destructive potential of being bitter and difficult to live with. “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body” (Proverbs 16:24). Let’s make sure our words have that kind of effect. Ask God to guard your heart—and your tongue—today. Anytime you hear yourself saying words that are contentious, complaining, or critical, rather than gracious, gentle, and godly … stop. Ask Him to forgive you. And seek forgiveness from those to whom—or in whose presence—you spoke.

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge
Retrieved from: 
https://www.reviveourhearts.com/static/challenges/30DayGratitude.pdf

Day 20: November 20

1 Timothy 5:8; 2 Timothy 1:3–5; 3:14–15

Godly character in every area of our lives will show up within the four walls of our homes. We can’t say we love God if we don’t manifest His love to our family members or if we allow bitterness to fester in our hearts toward them. For the most part, we don’t get to choose our family members, as we do our “friends.” Yet we are called to love and care for those in our families, in spite of their personalities, their idiosyncrasies, or their character flaws. And that’s not always easy! Today, focus on expressing gratitude for and to your family members. Make a list of each member of your immediate family. Next to each name, write one quality about their life for which you are particularly grateful. Take time to thank God for each member of the family He has given you. Then pick one or two individuals from your list to whom you can express gratitude today, in person, by phone, or with a note or email. (Note: You may want to express gratitude to a family member who has been especially difficult to love.)


 

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge
Retrieved from: 
https://www.reviveourhearts.com/static/challenges/30DayGratitude.pdf

Day 19: November 19

Romans 1:8; 1 Corinthians 1:4; Ephesians 1:15–16; Philippians 1:3–4; Colossians 1:3–4; 1 Thessalonians 1:2–3; 2 Thessalonians 1:3

When you read Paul’s New Testament letters, you can’t help but notice he was thankful for others. Paul didn’t just leave it at generalized expressions of gratitude—he often took time to identify specific individuals for whom he was grateful and to let them know how much he appreciated their contribution to his life and ministry. People matter to God. And they should matter to us. It’s important to take time to recognize and express appreciation for the contributions that even little-known people make to His kingdom and to our lives. Today, make a list of individuals who have blessed or touched your life in some way. Ask yourself, “Have I ever thanked this person for the way God has used him/her in my life?” Put a checkmark next to each individual to whom you have expressed gratitude. Then begin the process of catching up on your “gratitude accounts.” Don’t try to tackle the whole list at once. Pick one for starters. In the next twenty-four hours, find a way to express your gratitude for that person’s influence and impact in your life. Then move to the next one … and the next.

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge
Retrieved from: 
https://www.reviveourhearts.com/static/challenges/30DayGratitude.pdf

Day 18: November 18

1 Corinthians 10:1–13

In today’s reading, Paul reflects back on the children of Israel in the wilderness and identifies four specific sins they committed, all of which had dire consequences. It’s sobering to realize that He includes the sin of “grumbling” with these other sins and takes them all seriously! Grumbling is the opposite of thankfulness. Like gratitude, it starts in the heart and expresses itself in our words. It grows out of the sin of discontentment—not being satisfied with what God has provided. Philippians 2:14–15 says we are to “do all things without grumbling,” and that when we are obedient in this matter, our lives shine the light of Christ into our dark world. Are you guilty of the sin of grumbling? If so, confess that to the Lord; ask Him to forgive you and to grant you true repentance. Purpose in your heart to “put off” all complaining and to “put on” a heart of thankfulness. Ask God to make you sensitive and alert to situations over the next twenty-four hours where your natural response would be to murmur or whine. Ask Him for grace to give thanks every time you’re tempted to grumble.

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge
Retrieved from: 
https://www.reviveourhearts.com/static/challenges/30DayGratitude.pdf

Day 17: November 17

Proverbs 3:13–18

When the writer of Proverbs outlines the benefits of wisdom, he is also advertising the benefits of every other habit and discipline inspired by the Scriptures. And since the practice of being thankful is a basic characteristic of God’s people, I believe these passages that call us to wise, godly living can appropriately be applied to the issue of gratitude as well. That’s why I really like what’s implied in today’s reading. It begins and ends with a word—“blessed”—that portrays the type of person God desires and enables us to be. Some Bible translations use a slightly different word … “happy.” For most people, happiness is tied to circumstances—to what is happening in their lives. For Christians, however, happiness or blessedness is not dependent on the weather, the stock market, or how our last haircut turned out. Real happiness—that unshakable sense of peace, contentment, and well-being—comes as we remind ourselves of the blessings we have in Christ and then respond with thankfulness. We’ve talked about being “loud” with our thanksgiving, being vocal about what God is doing. Check to be sure your countenance is also expressing a joyful, thankful heart.

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge
Retrieved from: https://www.reviveourhearts.com/static/challenges/30DayGratitude.pdf

Day 16: November 16

Psalm 30

The word “sing” occurs over one hundred times in the Bible—more than sixty of them in the book of Psalms alone. Verses 4 and 12 in today’s passage both tie singing and giving thanks together. There are a number of illustrations in Scripture of the powerful effect of praise through music. When I talk with women who are struggling with chronic discouragement or depression, I often ask two questions: (1) Are you memorizing Scripture? and (2) Are you singing to the Lord? These aren’t magic “pills” that will make every emotional struggle go away, but I’ve found them to be extremely effective at recalibrating my heart and restoring inner peace. At times, when I am deeply distraught or discouraged, I’ll open my hymnal and just begin to sing. As I sing to the Lord, my heart and mind are re-tethered to His goodness and love, and invariably, the cloud begins to lift. Whether it’s a cloudy or sunny day in your heart, sing! Right now, if possible. Put on a CD or your iPod and sing along with others, or just sing to Him on your own.

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge
Retrieved from: https://www.reviveourhearts.com/static/challenges/30DayGratitude.pdf

Day 15: November 15

Psalm 50:14–15, 23

Plenty of occasions exist in life where being thankful is the last thing you feel like doing, where nothing seems good or gratitude-worthy. Today, I’d like you to make a list of all the difficult things in your life. Spell them out, as detailed as you want. Then use this list as a prompt for giving thanks. That may seem strange— or impossible! We’re not expected to thank God “for” things that are sinful. But we can give thanks “in everything,” knowing that God is still God and He uses all things in this fallen world to accomplish His purposes. Begin to track the ways that God is using these circumstances in your life. Perhaps they’re causing you to become more dependent on Him, or to call upon Him in prayer, or to exercise faith in His promises. When we call upon our Lord “in the day of trouble” (Psalm 50:15), with minds set on glorifying Him, He does marvelous things in the midst of our pain and sorrow. Thank Him by faith that He can use each of these situations as a means to display His glory.

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge
Retrieved from: https://www.reviveourhearts.com/static/challenges/30DayGratitude.pdf

Day 14: November 14

Psalm 56

Psalm 56 is a hymn of praise and trust, of confidence and strength, of worship and gratitude. This particular one was written in far less than ideal circumstances, however. David was on the run from King Saul, and when spotted and seized by the Philistines in the city of Gath, he faked insanity to avoid being detained. Yet in the midst of intense, frightening hardship, he submitted himself to the Lord’s protection, and found within this relationship the ability to say, “When I am afraid, I trust in you…. What can flesh do to me?” (vv. 3–4). He didn’t deny the reality of what was happening to him, but he found reason to be grateful even for his sorrows, . Perhaps it’s hard for you to find much to be thankful for today. Look above your circumstances, beyond your fears, and ask God to show you what He’s doing in the midst of them. Then look back through your list of blessings and benefits, adding any new ones that come to mind. Focus on the ones that give you the most comfort in crisis.

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge
Retrieved from: 
https://www.reviveourhearts.com/static/challenges/30DayGratitude.pdf

Day 13: November 13

Psalm 43:1–5

The Psalms are a good place to camp out if your heart’s desire is to be grateful—though not because they’re filled with nothing but happy, upbeat sentiments. They vibrate with every emotion known to man. They speak of back-breaking pressures, deep valleys of depression, and times when life barely seems worth living. And yet the Psalms reveal that the only ultimate answer to trouble, grief, pain, and loss is a constant returning to God in worship and gratitude. Even in the darkest night, you can still experience His peace and rest, knowing that the joy of morning is ahead. Resolve not to let your joy level be determined by the presence or absence of storms, but by the presence of God. Choose to be joyful in Him today. Choose a few psalms to read throughout the day (aloud if possible). See if they don’t cause praise and thanks to well up in your heart.

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge
Retrieved from: 
https://www.reviveourhearts.com/static/challenges/30DayGratitude.pdf

Day 12: November 12

3 John 1–4

Numerous secular studies and research projects attest to the health benefits of the attitude of gratitude. From better sleep to fewer medical symptoms, gratitude just seems to satisfy. The apostle John says to his beloved sons and brothers in Christ, “I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul” (v. 2). He’s right— there’s something physically strengthening and sustaining about being joyful in the Lord and grateful for His blessings. While living a godly life does not guarantee physical health, a healthy (spiritual) heart can do much to enhance our physical and emotional well-being. What are some reasons you think that might be the case? We’ve been on this gratitude journey for more than ten days now. What differences have you noticed in your overall wellness and outlook?

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge
Retrieved from: 
https://www.reviveourhearts.com/static/challenges/30DayGratitude.pdf

Day 11: November 11

Romans 5:1–11

If you’re a Christian, the best thing that’s ever happened to you is being saved from sure destruction for your sins and ushered into the family of God, beginning now and continuing for all eternity. Sadly, time tends to dull our appreciation of the magnificent, sacrificial work of Christ on our behalf. Life gets so busy and complicated; we can go for weeks—or longer— without being swept away by the magnitude of our salvation. One of my friends paraphrases Romans 5:8 this way: “God demonstrated His love toward us in this: while we were in open, hostile rebellion toward Him, having no interest in Him—not only that but actively despising Him and all that He stands for—Christ died for us.” How can we not be inexpressibly thankful? But, praise God, gratitude can reopen the wonder to us, throwing back the dingy curtains of complacency until the full light of His grace and glory come streaming through. The salvation we have in Christ is a “many-splendored thing,” a diamond with countless brilliant facets. What spiritual blessings in today’s Scripture reading need to be added to your list of “Gifts from God”?

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge
Retrieved from: 
https://www.reviveourhearts.com/static/challenges/30DayGratitude.pdf

Day 10: November 10

1 Corinthians 2:6–11

There are blessings in your life and mine that “no eye has seen, nor ear heard” (v. 9)—blessings that only show themselves by not showing up. Today, try listing as many of these things to be grateful for as you can think of. For example, think of the miles you’ve driven without getting a flat tire. Think of the big tree out front that’s never dropped a damaging limb on your house. Think of a destructive sin or habit the Lord has kept you from being tempted by. Perhaps you’re hobbled by a medical problem or two, but think of a dozen you’ve never experienced. Look at all the benefits on your growing list of gratitude inducers, and by backing them into reverse like this, you’ll find your blessings multiplying at an amazing rate. Gratitude can (and should) lead us to intercession. A good prayer starter is to ask God to remind you of those who do suffer from some of the things He’s spared you from. Lift these people up to Him today.

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge
Retrieved from: 
https://www.reviveourhearts.com/static/challenges/30DayGratitude.pdf

Day 9: November 9

2 Corinthians 9:6–15

Where gratitude grows, you’ll generally find generosity flourishing as well. Yet, generosity is a most unnatural quality. I mean, here we stand today, in an age as risky, volatile, and dangerous as any other in memory, where conventional wisdom declares this is no time to be loose with our money and other resources. Yet Paul expressed a surprising lack of concern for economic indicators when he advised the Corinthian church to let generosity be among the most notable expressions of their gratitude. His trust in God’s supply was so strong, he treated as a “given” the fact that the church would “be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God” (v. 11). “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work” (v. 8). In all things. At all times. Even these times. Grateful people are generous people. What act(s) of generosity might gratitude be motivating you toward today? Ask God for wisdom and faith, and then follow through on the promptings of His Spirit in relation to your giving.


 

Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge


Growing in Gratitude: A 30-Day Challenge


Retrieved from: https://www.reviveourhearts.com/static/challenges/30DayGratitude.pdf

Day 7: November 7

Luke 17:11–15

As you read today’s passage, notice some things about the leper who returned to thank Jesus. First, he came loudly. He couldn’t contain his gratitude. This occasion called for an unrestrained, extreme, public display of thanks. Second, he came close. The ten lepers “stood at a distance” (v. 12) from Jesus—lepers were ceremonially defiled and weren’t allowed to come close to those who were “clean.” The healed leper who “fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks” (v. 16) was the only one of the ten who ever got close to Jesus. Gratitude places us in close proximity to Christ, where we experience the fullness of His redeeming power and enjoy the blessing of His presence. Third, he came from a distance. “He was a Samaritan” (v. 16). This man had never known the true God until Jesus came into his world and transformed his life. After being separated from Jesus by a religious, cultural, and physical gulf, he loved what he saw in Jesus. Gratitude will draw you close to Jesus. Look for an opportunity today to thank the Lord for what He has done in your life—aloud, and in the presence of others.