The Thankfulness Challenge
It’s not easy to be thankful ALL the time!
Sometimes I honestly find that being thankful is not easy. When God takes me through things that are painful, unpleasant and unlike what I expect, I really do not want to be thankful. Do you feel the same at times?
This year God taught me the hard lesson of learning to be thankful in difficult circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18 – Be thankful in all circumstances.) As the months went by, however, God gave me several reasons to be thankful. I’ve listed a few of them below.
- God’s Gift Of Salvation
Salvation is a gift I received from God. I did not choose to be one of those who received salvation; instead, he chose me! Looking at my past life, and even some of the ridiculous mistakes I have made, I surely do not deserve to be called his child and to be a recipient of the gift of eternal life through Christ. God, however, chose me to be part of his family. I am so thankful for this gift! Are you?
2 Corinthians 9:15 “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (NIV)
At this point, if you feel God tugging at your heart, wanting you to accept his salvation, please do so. It’s the most significant decision you will ever make!
- God’s Grace
Grace is simply defined as unmerited favor – i.e., favor that you do not earn or deserve. The salvation I referred to above is received by grace because HE is the one who gives the gift.
Ephesians 2:8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (NIV)
I am so thankful that I am a recipient of God’s grace!
A point to note – did you know that God’s grace also holds us up in difficult situations? He graciously sends us his strength to supplement or cover up for our weaknesses. The verse below refers to this all-sufficient grace.
2 Corinthians 12:9 ‘But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”‘ (NIV)
At some point, I was physically weak, and I could not see any hope of healing in sight. God, however, by his grace, held me up all through that period! Are you going through a difficult situation? Look to God, he can and will hold you up through this season.
- God’s Presence
The past year had its moments where I felt lost and lonely. Every time I felt this way, though, the Lord reminded me that I only needed to ask him to walk with me, and he would!
Exodus 33:14 ‘The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (NIV)
I am so thankful that the Lord walked with me all through the year, especially when I needed him the most! The most exciting part was that whenever his presence was close by, I would be entirely at peace. Perhaps the most important lesson I needed to learn was how to rest in, experience and enjoy the benefits of God’s presence!
Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (NIV)
Do you feel like the Lord has deserted you, and is not as close as he used to be? Ask him to come back and to let you feel his presence once again!
Lord, this post has made me realize that there is so much to thank you for – more than I had ever imagined. I thank you for being there for me all through this year, and I pray that everyone who reads this post will take a moment to thank you for all you have done for them. Amen.
Psalm 107:1 “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” (NLT)