The attitude of thankfulness
by Chip Faulkner
HILLSDALE, MI – Have you ever received a word of encouragement or a gift that improved your whole attitude? Opening a card from our local hospital, I was shocked to find a handwritten thank you note and a $100.00 gift certificate to a nice restaurant in town.
Over the decades of ministry, I’ve been to many hospitals making countless pastoral visits, but this was the first time a hospital ever sent me a gift! The hospital administrators wrote of their appreciation for the difference I was making in their patients' lives. Their kindness and generosity lifted my outlook, and I’ve been telling others about what was done for me.
In Psalm 16 we don’t find David in a hospital, but his heart did need healing. What began with a prayer asking for protection soon turned into praise in recognition of God’s unexpected manner of provision. David’s whole mindset improved as he learned that the safest refuge during any attack is in finding his ultimate pleasure in the presence of God.
David realized that the strongest defense was in trusting God as his highest delight. From this vantage point David was then able to look beyond his mortal life towards a secure eternity of abundant joy.
Attitudes are shaped from habits of thought which in turn influence behavior. The inspired truths of Psalm 16 can be used to diagnose our attitudes, particularly when external enemies or inner fears are festering. We can allow our conduct to be held captive by our circumstances, or we can choose to find freedom within the “beautiful boundaries” provided as a portion of our inheritance in Christ.
Because God is always present to guide us, we can rejoice in the security He provides. Delighting in God is a product of learning to trust in His counsel. The path of life God has chosen for each of us will hold challenging days and long nights yet practicing appreciation in all situations will help keep attitudes well adjusted.
Receiving a thank you card with a gift certificate is encouraging. Even better is finding joyful contentment and blessed calm in the presence of our God who holds our future. We can be grateful for the confidence that no matter what we face, God is always near as our refuge. Praise really does change perspective.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chip was called to Hillsdale Baptist Church in March of 2020. He has served churches in Oklahoma and Illinois and also as a missionary with the IMB. Chip and his wife Gail have three grown children and 5 grandchildren.