It’s January 18, we are almost done with the first month of the new year. The new year comes with a lot of joyful anticipation, expectations, promises, changes and goals. But God points out some character-development and a good-attitude we may want to develop to have a fruitful 2017.
My biggest revelation this new year, is about being grateful and thankful.
I remember, one time I asked one of our couple friends, “what are you thankful for 2016?” It took a while before they can utter a word, they thought so deep, they could not remember anything. My husband then asked, is there anything, little or small that you can remember, you can be thankful to God for?
Then the husband of my friend replied, he said, “we are okay, I mean 2016 was a bit of a struggle, but I guess we are okay”.
For a second, I thought to myself, when life throws you series of troubles – it is indeed very difficult to find a spark of happiness around. It’s as if we are losing and slowly fading away along with the problems and the struggles. Truth is, life can vary, it can be sometimes difficult, for some it could mean a financial loss, sickness, a promotion never achieved or death of a love one. It can also be a dream that never pursued, a failure, a business failure or a consequence of a mistake.
In whatever package, it doesn’t matter, troubles and struggles may definitely come. It’s not a matter of what but it’s more of when.
We all had a fair share of life circumstances. 2014, we lost our dad due to cancer, my husband lost his lolo due to old age, we had 2 series of unemployments and some financial problems. 2015, it’s like the continuation of 2014, consoling our mom during our mourning season, separation and long-distance childcare, 1 unemployment and financial struggle. 2016, was a good year, God restored all that we wanted to pursue, those that we missed, savings goals, dreams, home acquisition, clearer goals and more. 2017, is still uncertain, we have expectations and even before we embark to this year, God already had confirmations of what to expect and we are excited with that.
Through it all, there is one important thing that God wants us to inhabit in our hearts, it is about “gratefulness”.
The psalmist David in the book of Psalms, wrote a lot of different songs and prayers that talks about his frustrations, pleads, request, repentance. But he also wrote a couple of verses in different chapters about his gratefulness to God.
This one, is one of my favorites;
“I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.
I will be filled with joy because of you.
I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.”
Psalms 9:1-2 NLT
Those words David uttered is coming from a grateful heart. Besides, he wouldn’t be able to write it, if he was not mesmerized by God’s goodness frim tye start. The context of this passage, is coming from David’s plead to God, to help him fight his enemies, but before asking anything – he first acknowledge the Lord and His goodness, the very character of God. He was really grateful.
I started to ask God to seek my heart, I wanted to know, when was the last time, I sat down and just be thankful for all the blessings He gave? The marvellous things He have done – my life, my family, favors, opportunities, lessons, healthy body, wisdom, strength, friends, relationships and just the opportunity to come in His presence. How many times, have we check our hearts intent when we approach God’s throne? Are we even thankful that we are breathing? That we are not consumed with the troubles of life?
Sometimes we get too caught up with life miseries, sorrows that we often forget, that we have a Father, who watches over us, whose plans are better, who gives hope and a future. Whose help is always there, that life, no matter how difficult, He has overcome it all for us.
Like David, my prayer for us, is that we would learn how to cultivate a life of gratefulness and thankfulness. Learning to appreaciate every season in our lives, that we will not give up on ourselves because God never did, and even if there are some struggles and life- circumstances – God is always there so inclined and willing to help and guide us.
In all things, give God praise, not only for the gifts that He gives, but because we understand that He is the source of all things. Our giver and our Father. Learn to be grateful even in the little, so when the big one comes, we will be more grateful. 🙂
Be thankful, always!