Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. Psalm 100:2-5

In verse two, it says to “Serve the Lord with gladness.” How do we find joy in times like these? What does it mean to find gratitude in service? The Bible is a roadmap for Earthly happiness, and science is finally catching up with proving how gratitude correlates with joy.

Brené Brown says that the way to cultivate a joyful life is by regularly practicing gratitude. Eckhart Tolle said, “It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.”

Being focused on the things in our lives that we have profound thanks for primes our hearts for faith and joy. Gratitude transforms us.

I saw this most directly in my life during my service with the food pantry this year. I was able to focus on things I am most grateful for: my health, the ability to have fruit and vegetables that are delicious, grown nearby, and nourish my physical body, a healthy family, a loving spiritual community, among other things.

I found the key to creating greater abundance in my own life, or perhaps, recognizing that it was already there. 2020 was many things; most of all, it was a transformational year that has many of us pondering the many blessings we see through a faithful heart.

Psalm 97, Psalm 99, Psalm 100, Psalm 94, Psalm 95; Jeremiah 17:19-27; Romans 7:13-25; John 6:16-27