Human beings were never programmed simply to sit around and do nothing. When God created us, He made us with an innate need to accomplish things in our lives. The problem we can encounter is finding the switch to activate that productivity. Contrary to what religion tells us, it’s not working hard, but maintaining a thankful heart.
When we get born again, we’re baby Christians who have a lot to learn. Some of us want to take off like a racehorse and jump out of the gate running; however, our Christian journey isn’t a sprint, but a lifelong marathon. A deep appreciation for everything God did for us lets Him work in our lives to make us increasingly more productive. Paul wrote to the Corinthians that God’s grace wasn’t bestowed on him in vain; although he worked harder than the other apostles, it wasn’t just him, but God’s grace that was working through him.
Faith in God’s grace is the key to winning this marathon. At the end of his life, Paul wrote that he had finished the race and remained faithful. When we’re faced with challenges, we can accomplish what we need to with thankfulness; this is God’s will for us. We don’t give thanks for the circumstances, but in spite of them.
Being genuinely productive involves being aware of—and grateful for—God’s undeserved favor toward us as expressed through Jesus and His finished works. Gratitude opens the door for Him to work through us to accomplish everything He wants us to do. Thankfulness brings contentment with it; godliness with contentment is great gain. Part of being content is having an ease of mind no matter what’s happening at the moment.
When we just can’t get started, gratitude gets us going. Knowing who we are in Christ motivates us to excel. The right attitude of thankfulness stops the struggle and moves us forward.
God, we can’t help but be thankful when we think about what Your Son did for us on the cross. This thankfulness is more effective in helping us accomplish what we need to do than any of our own efforts. We’re also grateful to You for loving us enough to make us Your children. In Jesus’ name, amen.
1 Corinthians 15:10, NLT
2 Timothy 4:7, NLT
1 Thessalonians 5:18, NLT
1 Timothy 6:6