Monday, 4 March 2013

Being Thankful

The story about Jesus healing the ten lepers but only ONE coming back to thank Him really makes me think. Luke 17:11-19 Sometimes I’m sadly like the nine lepers who didn’t bother to thank Jesus for what He did for them. It’s sad because after He hears my cries for His help and fixes me, I tend to forget to say a nice, warm “thank You” to Him. I think this is because I get so carried away with excitement that my gratitude gets lost in the midst of it all. And when I remember, I get embarrassed and quickly apologize and tell God how I’m thankful for what He does for me. “Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, thou art very great! Thou art clothed with honor and majesty.” Psalm 104:1

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him, bless His name! For the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 100:4,5

God is so good that my ingratitude sometimes does not hold Him back from gracing me with more blessings. He overlooks my sins and still says “Child, I forgive you. Here are more blessings I want to bestow upon you. Today is a gift I freely choose to give you to try and get it right” I don’t have to be perfect to deserve His unlimited kindness. All He requires from me is to try my best, being fully dependent on His strength to walk in obedience.
**Remember that for the blessings to flow, you need to walk in obedience first. Also, the motives behind your requests to our dear Father should be in agreement with His Word.

 “O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever!” Psalm 107:1
“...Always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.” Ephesians 5:20

Just imagine a dear friend of yours giving you a very precious gift. In the overwhelming happiness you feel because of the gift, you totally forget your friend and without much of a thank you, you gloat and gloat over your precious gift. How do you think your friend will feel? He/she will most likely feel like you value their gifts much more than you value the friendship they have with you. And that’s close to terrible. Your friend might even stop giving you gifts altogether, because you never show any appreciation. 

You should love the giver of the gifts, not just the gifts they give you. This is the same with God. We should love Him and show gratitude for what He does for us, even when those things don’t seem to be what we asked Him for. Sometimes we expect certain big gifts from God but we end up receiving something which we perceive to be less than. Other times He does not even give us what we want at all, and He seems to be quiet. Still, we have to learn how to say thank You. He knows what’s best for us always. So whether big or small blessings, I’m learning to say thank You, whether what I’ve been asking Him seems to tarry and it seems it’s never going to show up, still, I’ll say thank You. When I feel as if there’s nothing for me to be thankful for, I’ll remind myself that just being alive is a grand thing. So in the good and bad, I’ll give thanks. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

 “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17

Let us remember that the blessings of God are not just physical things but are spiritual gifts as well. So it’s not only when God helps you get a good job that you show gratitude. Think of His mercies, grace, forgiveness, faithfulness, joy, His Love. When you feel you don’t have anything to be thankful for, remember that Jesus dying to redeem you in itself is a very great blessing, if not the greatest gift of all. And also remind yourself of all that God has done for you. In doing this, you’ll begin to realize you have so much to be thankful for. Don’t wait for some day in the year before you display your thankfulness for all that you are and have. Being thankful should become a daily habit. Just opening your eyes to see a new day is a miracle deserving thanks and praise. Remember His mercies are new every single morning. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22,23

Lately I’ve been thinking about how I need to really acknowledge everything God gives me, even the very little ones. So I’ll be starting a series of thankful posts. This is a way of reminding myself of what my Father does for me and never taking any of it for granted. “O give thanks to the Lord, call on His name, make known His deeds among the peoples!” Psalm 105:1 

**I’m thankful for these verses/quotes I have on my wall right by my bed. They are great reminders of my identity in Christ and the awe-inspiring person God created me to be. And I like that I see them right when I wake up or when I’m just lying down.

**I’m thankful for my new leopard print mug which I find very cute!

**I’m thankful for this lovely notebook which I write some of my favorite quotes in. (The writer in me, ...keeping notebooks with me almost all the time. ;) ) And I wouldn’t lie, the butterfly on it was what attracted me. (There’s just something about butterflies that I love. :) )

**A couple of weeks ago I got the opportunity to attend The John A. Kufuor Foundation Global Development Lecture Series for 2013, and I’m thankful for that. I found it very educative and relevant to me because there’s a growing passion within me to have my career centered on global development. Besides that, it felt honoring to be in the same building with very notable people you don’t see on a normal day like the former President of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (who delivered the lecture on the topic “What Africa must do to claim the 21st century”), Dr. Paul Acquah, Ewkow Spio-Garbrah and many others. 

“Remember the wonderful works that He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He uttered.” Psalm 105:5

Here’s one of my favorite songs by Laura Story, a song she wrote when she was going through a very difficult time and God’s blessings seemed far away... Sometimes bad things happen and like a wake-up call, they help us see reality for what it is, becoming aware of all that we already have been blessed with. "Blessings" is a great song for you if you're going through rough times and God's blessings seem to be miles and miles away. Some things are blessings in disguise, really. So nevertheless even through the disappointments, give thanks. :) I hope it encourages you to know that sometimes even in the midst of trials God’s blessings still abound. 

 “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6

“Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17

 So what are you thankful for lately?



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