A Reason to Be Thankful

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Just recently I read some verses and they reminded me of some key truths to help navigate the challenges we face. Hopefully, as you read this post you will find a reason to be thankful, a reason to keep waiting on God, and a hope that can only be found in Him.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

One truth is to thank God for everything because He cares about you and everything you face. And I mean everything…you know that little struggle you may think you’re blowing out of proportion? The little spark of a dream you have in your heart? The kid who is challenging you at every turn causing you to question your parenting skills? The racing thoughts and internal dialogue banging you up daily? YES, He cares! What a wonderful thing to be thankful for – God cares about every situation, feeling, and moment we face. We are His children! Start living on this truth: as a believer in Christ you are now God’s child. YOU are a child who is constantly lavished with God’s extravagant love! Awesome right? His unfailing love is reason enough to be thankful in all circumstances.

Consider the kind of extravagant love the Father has lavished on us—He calls us children of God! It’s true; we are His beloved children. And in the same way the world didn’t recognize Him, the world does not recognize us either.
John 3:1 (VOICE)

Take heart. The hard season you are in now will pass and through Christ you will come out on the other side victorious. (Ecclesiastes 3:1, Philippians 4:13, 1 Corinthians 15:57, Deuteronomy 20:4) There have been many seasons in my life where I faced difficult and sorrowful circumstances. A recent hard time was when my youngest daughter suffered a severe stroke. The uncertainty of the effects my daughter was facing was a heavy weight and it threatened my very sanity. Thankfully, God brought us through this situation and truly worked a miracle in her life. He will bring you through whatever situation you are facing. For this reason we can be thankful in all circumstances.

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NLT)

I don’t fear; I’m confident that help will come to the one anointed by the Eternal:
heaven will respond to his plea;
His mighty right hand will win the battle.
Psalms 20:6 (VOICE)

In Colossians 4:2, we are commanded to “devote” ourselves to prayer with an “alert mind” and “thankful heart”.

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Devote as defined in the dictionary means “to give up or appropriate to or concentrate on a particular pursuit, occupation, purpose, cause. Alert is defined as being “fully aware and attentive; wide-awake; keen”. Do you feel your prayer life reflects these qualities? If yes, what does this look like in our life? If no, what steps can you take to devote yourself to prayer with an alert mind? For me, prayer and giving thanks has been critical as I face each day and honestly, it has been a slow process forged by many challenges.

Another important truth to remember is to ALWAYS wait on God.

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Yes, this one can be a great challenge!! It is easier to read this than to implement in our lives. Yet, we can have hope! Look at the promises offered to those who wait on the Lord – renewed strength, rest, we will not faint…I can attest to this truth! The first few days after my daughter’s stroke were so uncertain. The doctors could not give us a reason why she even suffered the stroke in the first place. The only certainty was short of a miracle she would always have a large blood clot blocking part of her brain stem, she would not walk or use her left arm again, and there was no guarantee she would not have another stroke. Talk about a time when this momma’s heart was breaking. When waiting on a miracle seemed impossible. Had it not been for God’s hand working in her life, in my life, the uncertainty would have kept me buried. I am thankful to say that after 21 days in the hospital and many months of therapy she has been able to walk and use her left arm again. She has not had another stroke. She still has a blood clot, but it has shrunk in size. I can say without a doubt, I trust God with her life and I am continually thankful for the healing he provided. I can put my hope in Him.

Never forget as believers we have powerful and tangible tools to get us through the waiting—God’s Word and the Holy Spirit living inside us!

All of Scripture is God-breathed; in its inspired voice, we hear useful teaching, rebuke, correction, instruction, and training for a life that is right so that God’s people may be up to the task ahead and have all they need to accomplish every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (VOICE)

The Spirit of truth will come and guide you in all truth. He will not speak His own words to you; He will speak what He hears, revealing to you the things to come and bringing glory to Me. The Spirit has unlimited access to Me, to all that I possess and know, just as everything the Father has is Mine. That is the reason I am confident He will care for My own and reveal the path to you.
John 16:13 (VOICE)

What great promises! Unfortunately, because of sin there are some things we just will not have the answers to while here on this earth. Other times we will wait and wait and wait for an answer to a constant prayer and it will take a long time to receive an answer. Then there are times the answers are given to us quickly. We always need to have an alert mind looking and listening for God’s answers. (Speak, Lord, your servant is listening. 1 Samuel 3:9) We need to be devoted to prayer with complete trust God will answer. It is also important to be alert to the times when our faith is lacking in the areas we are praying over. Is it easy all the time? No. Always remember, God is with us through EVERYTHING we face in life! His Word can be counted on at all times and in all circumstances. Pray for the strength to get through whatever season of life you are in now. God is just a prayer away. He will answer. This you can count on!

For I am God, and there is no other; I am God there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.”
Isaiah 46: 9-10

We have a God who is close to us and answers our prayers.
Deuteronomy 4:8

And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us.
1 John 5:14 (AMP)