Watching that video reminded me of a couple of things. First, I am so grateful for the privilege of prayer. No matter what’s going on in my life or around me, I can call on Jesus at any time. Prayer is a weapon of our faith and not a last resort. I’m thankful!
Second, I was reminded that as I sit in my comfortable home, limiting my contact with others and being pretty safe, there are others who are putting their lives on the line every minute of every day in service to people they don’t even know – healthcare workers, supermarket and drugstore personnel and delivery people, just to name a few. I am grateful to them for the work and services they provide. Again, I’m thankful.
This is a difficult time on so many levels, but as daughters of the King of Kings, there are some things we can still be grateful for.
Here are just a few.
For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)
My grandmother always said that favor will take you places money can’t buy your way into. She was absolutely right. God will open doors for you and help you accomplish things that are only possible because of His divine favor.
Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say. To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:6-11)
When I think about some of the things I’ve prayed for because I believed I needed them, I can thankfully say “Praise God” when He chose not to answer those prayers. As you go through life, you can see one part of your story, but God sees your now and your future. He knows what’s best for you today in light of what’s going to happen in your life tomorrow.
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. (Psalm 5:11)
Where would we be without God’s protection? He is Jehovah Shammah, the Lord who is always present. No matter what’s going on, God is right there with you. Sometimes it’s easy to thank Him for protection from known enemies and situations; but remember to be thankful for Him saving you from people and things you don’t even recognize. Be grateful for a God who is always present.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16- 18)
God can deliver you from every attack from the enemy no matter what form that attack takes. But even when He chooses to allow us to go through some things, He is still in control. No matter what troubles you may be facing right now, know that the Lord is able to deliver you from them.
In you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse. Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. (Psalm 25:2-5)
When your hope is in Jesus, you don’t ever have to give up. You can face tomorrow because trouble does not last always. The season you’re in – that the world is in right now – will pass. People will be healthy and safe again. You can be grateful for the hope you have in Christ which can see you through today and the days to come.
Cultivating a grateful heart has to be a way of life – even in times like the one we’re currently living in. As Christ followers, we should have a goal of overflowing with thankfulness. Look for the blessings, especially when life is hard. That’s the only way to live in gratitude.