Today (June 14) is a GREAT day to Celebrate!! It is our Nation’s Flag Day and the Army’s 243d Birthday, but most importantly, this is the day that THE LORD has made so let us rejoice and be glad in it! Several national polls indicate that more Americans than ever suffer from depression, anxiety, worry, and general discontent with our lives. At the same time quality of life statistics such as income levels, unemployment, access to healthcare, education, and government services indicate that most Americans are better off than our parents’ generation was. If our quality of life is better than it used to be, why are we more consumed by our “woes?” The answer, I believe, is largely because we have drastically plummeted in one major quality of life area – GRATITUDE! We have become a nation of “complainers” who are seemingly dissatisfied with our lives regardless of the circumstances.
According to one top economist nearly half of the world’s richest 1% live in America. That may make one believe we have a LOT of Millionaires, but that’s not true. The threshold for being in the top 1% of income in the world is only $34,000 annually. The world’s median family income is roughly $1,225 per year. At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. UNICEF statistics indicate that over 20,000 children die each day due to poverty. While these statistics vary from year to year and from different sources, they all point to one thing – Americans are extremely blessed compared to the rest of the world. If we are so well off by world standards, why are we so miserable? Again, the ugly monster of ingratitude rears its head. We almost seem intent on being discontent!
The good news is there is GOOD NEWS! Developing an attitude of gratitude and living a joy-filled life requires just one thing – Jesus. When we allow Jesus to become Lord and Master of our lives and truly put our lives in His hands, we develop a new perspective on life. Paul reminds believers that we have “died to sin and are alive in Christ” (Rom. 6:11) and that we should be “content in whatever circumstances we are in” (Phil. 4:11-13). The guiding principle is to understand the source of joy and contentment…Jesus, The Way, The Truth, and The Life. This, and every other, is the day that The Lord has made, let us DETERMINE to rejoice and be glad in it. Take the time to praise God for His Goodness and His bountiful blessings in your life today.