Thoughts and essays on being grateful, and having a positive outlook:

1. We are grateful in prayers and petitions (Philippians 4:6)
2. We are grateful for God's miraculous hand over our lives (Psalms 9:1)
3. We are grateful for God's deliverance over our lives (Romans 7:25)
4. We are grateful for God's gifts given through His people (2 Corinthians 9:15)
5. We are grateful for the ability to do good works (Colossians 3:17)
6. We are grateful in every situation (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
7. We are grateful for God's love (1 Chronicles 16:34)
-- Crystal McDowell

"To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us - and He has given us everything.  Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him.  Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference." 
-- Thomas Merton

"Humbly let go.  Let go of trying to do, let go of trying to control, let go of my own way, let go of my own fears.  Let God blow His wind…Leave the hand open and be.  Be at peace.  Bend the knee and be small and let God give what God chooses to give because He only gives love and whisper a surprised thanks…Counting His graces has awakened me to how He cherishes me, holds me, passionately values me.  I can empty because I am full of His love.  I can trust."  
-- Ann Voskamp


"Every single day is made up of moments, within each day there are positive moments, not so positive moments, and moments that are simply just moments.  Many of us do something with the negative moments, we gather them up and hold to them tightly and we stare at them, reliving them over and over and don't seem to let go.  Each time we look at them we feel them again, and again, and somehow they seemingly take over and color our perception of life…

But the power to color our view of life is in the holding of moments, we can do it with the positives as well.  They may seem small and insignificant all on their own, but when we collect them, when we group them together…they are like fire, creating a glow of positivity.  Don't discount any single positive moment, no matter how seemingly insignificant.  Simply add it to the pile, watch the light grow, and experience the unfolding of a life looked at through a lens of positivity."
-- Gretchen Stone

"Gratitude is the quality of being thankful and showing appreciation.  It is a mindful acknowledgment of all that we have been given.  When we focus on the abundance in our lives, we discover a greater capacity for generosity, cheerfulness, and contentment.

Expressing gratitude is a rewarding habit that affirms the grace of the giver. Gratitude opens our hearts, encourages us to savor each gift that comes our way, and magically frees us from jealously guarding our possessions.  It lets us celebrate today rather than waiting for the next level of accomplishment or wealth.  It is a reminder that one can always find reason to be glad."
-- Wisdom Commons

"Gratitude is a virtue most worthy of our cultivation.  Indeed, in all the Christian life, gratitude is to be planted, watered, dressed, and harvested. Gratitude gets at the very essence of what it means to be created, finite, fallen, redeemed, and sustained by the God of all grace.

Ingratitude was at the heart of the fall, and at the heart of what's fallen about us to this day. 

"Although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him." (Romans 1:21). 

Again and again throughout the Old Testament, especially in the Psalms, it is gratitude -- giving God thanks -- that is the fitting response to his gracious acts of deliverance for his people."
-- Interview by Ann Voskamp, Topic: Gratitude, Series: Theology Refresh

"It was gratitude to the Father that Jesus expressed at that first Maundy Thursday table as he held out the bread and cup to his disciples (Matthew 26:27; Mark 14:23; Luke 22:17–19; 1 Corinthians 11:24).  It is profound and enduring gratitude, among other things, that his sacrificial death and triumphant resurrection summon in the born-again heart.  And in the daily Christian life, it is the genuine giving of thanks for God's gifts that keeps us from idolatry and sinful asceticism (1 Corinthians 10:30–31; 1 Timothy 4:3–4)." 
-- Desiring God website

"Jonathan Edwards, the 17th-century revivalist preacher and theologian, described two types of gratitude in his classic work, "A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections."  He described these two types as natural gratitude and as a gracious or spiritual gratitude.  Natural gratitude is thanks expressed to God for the benefits a person has received, whereas gracious gratitude has its source in the knowledge of the goodness of God independent of favors received.  According to Edwards, the "gracious stirrings of grateful affection to God," in which love flows from the heart as a response to the Divine, is one of the surest ways to discern the presence of the Holy Spirit in a person's life."
-- Robert Emmons and Joanna Hill, Words of Gratitude: For Mind, Body, and Soul