But let me explain. My brother put me onto the Nice News feed that comes via email every day. This news source provides stories about all the good things that are happening in the world. (Let me tell you, it is a wonderful way to start the day.)
In the November 23 edition (Thanksgiving Day,) the Health and Wellness section had the following headline: “The Science of Why Gratitude is Good for You.”
It then cited three studies: One from UCLA about the health benefits of gratitude; one from SpringerLink (“the world’s most comprehensive online collection of scientific, technological and medical journals, books and reference works”) which spoke to gratitude and mental health; and one by Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center about how gratitude actually can change the chemistry of the brain.
But if you read the bible, you already know this. A few of the benefits referred to in the Bible are --
Gratitude engenders trust--
I Thessalonians 5:18:”Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Gratitude brings peace--
Phil. 4:6-7: “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Gratitude brings contentment--
Philippians 4:12-13: 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.
Gratitude brings perspective--
James 1:2-4: 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.
Gratitude reminds us of God’s mercy--
As when the sinful woman in Luke 7:36-50 arrived unannounced and anointed Jesus’s feet with expensive perfume, kissed his feet, and wiped them with her hair.
The science of gratitude is just the most recent validation of the truth and wisdom of the Bible, and the sovereignty of God. Let’s see what scientists “discover” next.