Five Reasons to Give Thanks

Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.                         —Psalm 103:1-5

Seasons of celebration and reflection are good for the soul. They take daily grind out of life as we look forward to these times with anticipation and excitement. They bring together friends and families that distance and responsibilities often keep apart. But Thanksgiving is not just a special holiday, it is a heart attitude. As Christians, thankfulness should be a constant way of living. Regardless of our present state in life – whether all is well or not – we should have grateful hearts.

The Psalmist David is well-known for his praise to the Lord and he reminds us in Psalm 103 of the need to attribute praise to God. Many times David’s life was in an upheaval – constantly on the run to stay alive – yet he purposed in his heart to always bless the Lord (Psalm 34:1-3).

Probably David was facing a period of frustration and he wanted to call it quits but in this psalm David commands himself to praise God with all that is in him. He reminded himself that he ought to give God praise for all He had done and because God is good.

Life’s challenges can sometimes make us forget to praise God. We can become burdened with many issues, details or concerns that we overlook the need to honor God for the good we are experiencing in life. When we don’t develop hearts of praise we can find ourselves in a world of negativity and complaining.

It is a good practice to remind yourself like David did to bless God with all that your spirit, soul, and strength. You can always give thanks to this wonderful God, who:

1.     Forgives Your Sins

What a great love Jesus has for us! He did it just for you and me so that we can come to the Father through Him and be forgiven.

2.     Heals Your Sicknesses and Diseases

We may not always be healthy but we have a covenant of healing with God. When we or our loved ones are ill we can call on Jehovah Rophe to heal. Furthermore, we can be thankful for every day we awake with strength.

3.     Protects You from Harm

We have not idea how much God preserves us from accident or sudden death. Sometimes we take it for granted that we are safe. Thank God for blessing your daily activity and setting His angels over you to protect you from harm.

4.     Extends His Mercies to You

This God is not hard in His judgment toward us. He deals with us according to our nature and willing extends mercy to receive us even when we don’t deserve it. We mess up in life quite a bit and we should be grateful to have such a merciful God.

5.     Fills Your Life with Good Things

We can’t complain – we have food, shelter and clothing. Yet at times we are grumpy because we didn’t get something we wanted. But God fills our lives with pleasant riches. Our lips should be filled with praise for the good and perfect gifts our Father showers on us.

As you look at your life, you will see that there are far more reasons to give thanks to God. Often, it is the ‘small’ stuff we fail to give honor to the Lord for. Give thanks for your family – even if they don’t fit into your ideal. Thank God for strength and wisdom He gives to accomplish the things you do. Honor Him for making you unique – appreciate God for the special gifts you have that others really appreciate about you.

With a thankful heart, make it your daily delight to praise God for all His goodness toward you.

How do you avoid being unthankful?

5 Reasons for Creating Your Own Season

Celebrate

I like the ushering in of a new year. The celebration of what has passed and the welcoming of want is to come just brings such excitement. During these seasons, we don’t just celebrate but we think, we pray, we hope, we believe for a year or time ahead full of great and wonderful things happening in our lives. Some of us set goals about what we would like to accomplish. Some of us pray about them consistently. Some strategize on how to make our goals become reality.

I believe God gives allows times and seasons for a purpose – to refresh us. Just as the season of winter, spring, summer and fall have a purpose in renewing and refreshing the earth, so do the seasons or celebrations in our lives. Seasons like New Year’s, Easter, Christmas – whether man-made or God-made – can have a positive impact on our lives.

Apart from the normal seasons most people celebrate; we can create our own seasons that bring refreshing and renewal in our lives. For me, I set apart a specific time of thanksgiving and reflection at least four times a year. I like to sit with my journal and write a note of praise (which is often very long note) to God as I reflect over the days, weeks and months of the previous quarter. I like to celebrate God’s goodness to me and would spend extra time in praise and thanksgiving to honour Him.

But what benefits have I reaped from creating times of celebration and thanksgiving and what can this do for you? Creating your own season of celebration can:

  1. Keep your mind on the Source of your life and on the Help of my life. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3, NKJV)
  2. Re-ignite a heart of gratitude in you. Sometimes the grind of life can take its toil on your attitude and your outlook on life. If you set aside special times of thanksgiving and celebration to God you will be uplifted and you will gain new energy to keep going.
  3. Create a moment of pause. You will gain some perspective on what you’ve accomplished through Christ. It helps you to determine where you are, where you need to go and what you need to do and what God wants you to do.
  4. Lift any feelings of discouragement that have been lingering and propel you forward. As you reflect and celebrate you will recognize that Christ, who brought you through the past three months and the prior seasons of your life, is faithful to take you into the next season victoriously.
  5. Give you inner strength to recommit yourself to God and to achieve your goals. In some cases, you may even recognize the need to eliminate or revise some specific goals as the Lord directs you.

Although this season you create isn’t done with the same fanfare as Christmas or New Years’, it can bring the same result – a refreshing, a renewing of the soul, an exception or anticipation for God’s powerful move in your life.

What about you? Do you create and celebrate season in your life to help bring you through the daily grind of life or do you just struggle through? There are times when you have to encourage yourself in the Lord and renew yourself.

Make a conscious effort to create seasons of celebration, thanksgiving, reflection and re-commitment and you will notice that you’ll make it through the year more triumphantly!