Since I regularly practice contextual reading, I chose to nose dive into Nancy Leigh Demoss’ (now Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth) Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy in preparation for November, the month of Thanksgiving. Gratitude, a lost art and attitude of many, is certainly the path to finding true joy amidst the tough struggles of life—as well as the triumphs.
Her book points readers to the path of joy and provides a loving nudge to take the first step. The end of the book contains a guide which comes in handy when the reader feels like gratitude is necessary, but difficult. It is a thirty-day devotional and reads like the first 30 steps toward the joy that the subtitle promises. Here is how she describes the book in her first chapter:
“This book is about discovering what makes gratitude truly Christian. And how it makes life, even with all its bumps and bruises, a joy to behold.”
She describes gratitude as a “hard-fought, grace-infused, biblical lifestyle” of which only Christians are empowered to enjoy. “Christian gratitude,” she writes, is “recognizing and expressing appreciation for the benefits we have received from God and others.” This is not entirely difficult to understand. But don’t mistake it as the extent of the book. It is by no means shallow. She explores the depths of gratitude in a way that stirs up the depths of the heart to look at life with fresh eyes.
You will see things differently, and it will bring you joy.
Nancy is host of two daily nationally syndicated radio programs: Revive Our Hearts and Seeking Him. She has authored eighteen books, including the best-selling Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free. She is also founder of the True Woman Conference.
Here are some notable moments from the book:
- Undeniable guilt, plus undeserved grace, should equal unbridled gratitude.
- Being humbly thankful to God for our salvation—the most underserved transaction in our personal history—is the starting point for the purest form of gratitude: God-ward, Christ-centered gratitude.
- Our hearts are answering back with all the gratitude we can muster, yet being met by even more grace and mercy.
- We give out of the abundance He has already given us. Grace begets giving.
- Forgetfulness and ingratitude go hand in hand.
- Thanksgiving puts us in God’s living room. It pages the way to His presence.
- God’s peace is one of the many blessings that live on the other side of gratitude.
- Giving of thanks is an indicator of our true heart condition. Those who have been made righteous by the grace of God will be thankful people.
- The grateful heart that springs forth in joy is not acquired in a moment; it is the fruit of a thousand choices.
- Gratitude is a revealer of the heart. And among the things it reveals about us most is our level of humility.
- Gratitude is often the only difference between pervasive sadness and pure satisfaction.
- In the byways of real life, a grateful heart must often strap on sword and shield, summon up its deepest courage, and brace itself for battle.