I know I heard that many times growing up, but I usually dismissed it as just something parents would say when they were not going to buy me what I was asking for. The phrase really did not have much meaning at the time. After experiencing tremendous loss later on in life, I now have a much deeper appreciation for being thankful for God’s many blessings.
Consider what the Apostle Paul wrote in 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 could do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Now let’s take a look at the definition of gratitude:
Gratitude is an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has opposed to the consumer-oriented emphasis on what one wants or needs.
Quite the contrast, we have the Apostle Paul who was once a prominent Jewish leader named Saul and after his conversion to Christianity became Paul, now writing the above passage from prison. He is focusing on what he has rather than what he no longer has or needs.