1 Peter 1:6-9
Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations:…
I. GRATITUDE NATURALLY BEGETS AN AFFECTIONATE ATTACHMENT TO ITS OBJECT. We ought not only to guard against an error too prevalent in our own times, namely, the excluding the affections altogether from religion, and imputing the signs of them in others to the impulse of a heated imagination, but we ought to cherish their influence as a becoming expression of our love to Jesus Christ, and a pleasing symptom of our sincerity, when we make a public profession of it.
II. IT IS A NATURAL EFFECT OF GRATITUDE TO KEEP THE OBJECT OF IT MUCH IN OUR THOUGHTS. Do the privileges and benefits of the gospel interest our affections. Do our hearts burn within us when we contemplate His doctrine, His character, His astonishing humility and benevolence?
III. ANOTHER EFFECT OF GRATITUDE IS TO PROCEED TO OUTWARD EXPRESSIONS OF THOSE THANKFUL SENTIMENTS WHICH INSPIRE OUR HEARTS. When we either love or hate, or grieve or rejoice in an intense degree we are sensibly gratified by the verbal expression of these affections. Words not only flow from the affections, but react upon them, and add to their vivacity and strength.
IV. GRATITUDE NATURALLY DISPOSES US TO DO EVERYTHING IN OUR POWER AGREEABLE TO OUR BENEFACTOR, OR THAT TENDS TO PROMOTE HIS INTEREST. To pretend to love Jesus Christ while we love our sins and hold them fast is not less absurd than it would be for a man to avow allegiance to his prince while leagued with those rebellious subjects who have conspired against his person and government. When overtaken in a fault are we affected with sorrow, not only from the fear of danger, but from the consciousness of ingratitude?
V. GRATITUDE NATURALLY LEADS US TO GLORY IN OUR CONNECTION WITH OUR BENEFACTORS. Jesus, a man of sorrows while He tabernacled on earth, is now exalted to the right hand of the throne of God. Our gratitude cannot add to His glory, nor can our ingratitude detract from it. But His Church, or kingdom on earth, like the kingdoms of this world, is not exempted from the vicissitudes of prosperous and adverse fates. How many alarming symptoms of the declining credit and influence of the Christian religion are exhibited in the age and country in which we live!
(T. Somerville, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: