I believe that expressing gratitude is a crucial component to having a good life. Being grateful seems to magnify our blessings and minimize our problems. I believe that when we pray, we should bring our thanksgiving before we bring our requests to God. I read a saying a while back that said, “What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?” Pause a moment and really think about what kind of “gratitude” prayer that would look like…
I wonder sometimes- How many things has God rescued me from that I will never know to specifically thank Him for? How many times did he send his angel armies to block something or someone from my path to keep me in peace? How many casualties have I avoided in my life because God stepped in? How many times did He intervene to keep my children safe? God is always at work. Sometimes it's right before our eyes, other times (many times) it's behind the scenes.
I thank Him for giving me continued strength throughout the years when I needed it. I thank Him for providing, intervening, redirecting, protecting and saving me and my family from things that I cannot name specifically because He never allowed it to happen. I recall and thank Him for the blessings, good breaks, opportunities and things that happened in perfect timing. I am filled with wonder and awe at His grace! I am continually humbled by His mercy!
There are times when books are put in my path, songs come on the radio, a sermon timed perfectly for what I am going through, a saying or video on social media that makes me stop in my tracks because it is exactly what I need to hear at that exact moment… and so many other things that happen that are too much of a coincidence to call it coincidence. I am filled with gratitude as I whisper, “Thank you God. I know that was you.”
He is always present. He is our helper. He is our protector. He is our provider. He is our healer. He is our friend. Psalm 46:1 says: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Thank Him for the multitude of things He has done for you both seen and unseen. He alone truly deserves the glory!
This does not mean that we will never go through bad things. (Ecclesiastes 9:11 – “…but time and chance happen to them all.”) I understand that illness, death, pain, suffering, poverty and many other unforeseen occurrences can befall any one of us at any time. But I know that if we stay faithful in our walk with God, even death cannot keep us from the goodness He has in store for us in what comes next. (Revelation 1:17, 18 – Revelation 2:10, 11)
God has provided the ultimate rescue for us all. He sent His only son Jesus to die for our sins. Please think about the enormity of that! Someone actually died for YOU. (John 3:16) You are worth rescuing. I can say with absolute certainty that Jesus Christ is coming back and we need to be ready. Every day is another chance for us to get closer to getting it right. He doesn’t expect perfection, just confess to God your sins and make Jesus the Lord of your life. Follow His ways. Get into your Bible and pray like your life depends on it. Because, truth is friend…it does.
Until that day comes, I will continue to pray as David did in Psalms 17:7,8:
“Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings…”
Please listen and be encouraged by this beautiful song by Chris Tomlin.
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