What do you thank God for?
I know we all have a standard list — salvation, our family, our friends, food, and home. But I’ve realized I tend to thank God for the same things over and over again. That means there are things I’m leaving out! Without being intentional about thanking God for His blessings, I am sadly allowing myself to act like the lepers who took their healing so for granted they didn’t give any thanks to their Healer (Luke 17:11-19).
Maybe these are things we are just forgetting or maybe we have never even thought about them as blessings before, but here are 7 blessings from God that we often forget to mention:
1. The Holy Spirit
Other than salvation, the Holy Spirit is one of the greatest gifts God has ever given. He is called the Helper (John 14:6), He “makes intercession for us” in our weakness and suffering (Romans 8:26), He produces in us the traits of “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). Best of all, when we accepted Christ’s gift of salvation we “were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance” (Ephesians 1:13-14).
I know this one sounds odd — thanking God for the problems and hardships in our life, but it’s true. Not only should we be thankful to God for His goodness even through trials, to an extent we should be thanking God for the trials in the first place.
James 1 tells us, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” I’m not sure I have ever thanked God that I have a chance to have a hard life, but God says He can use hard circumstances to grow our faith in ways a path of ease could never do.We can be thankful for the trials that draw us closer to the Father. Click To Tweet
Not to mention (although this one is even harder to remember during hard times), God gets glory for His help through our trials. Look at the woman in Luke 8:40-48. She had had a disease for 12 years with absolutely no hope of healing. I’m sure she was not thinking through those 12 years that God would use her to show Jesus’s power, or that thousands of years later people would still be encouraged by reading about His work in her, but that’s what happened. Who knows what good God might bring through your hardship?
3. His delight in us
We hear lots of verses about how much God loves the world, about how God loves everyone. It’s sometimes easy to feel as if I’m just one of billions. But God more than just loves us, He knows us! Each of us.
Psalm 139 says things like “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.” The Bible says that He is acquainted with all of our ways (Psalm 139:3) and that He knows the number of hairs on our head (Luke 12:7). If God knows us that intimately (including all of our sins) and still counts us among those that He loves, we can know that He loves us personally, not just with a blanket statement kind of love.
4. Our daily breath
And strength and movement and…
Colossians 1 says, “All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist,” talking about Christ.
Job 12:10, in describing God asks, “In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind?” The answer is God.
Without God we can do nothing. Because of Him we are able to breathe, sit, walk, stand… Anything we are able to do is a blessing.
In a culture full of “Follow your heart,” “Do what feels right,” and “Just be yourself,” anything that smells faintly of rules, regulations, or even guidelines gets pretty much beaten to a pulp, including the Bible.
God created the world, and God created people (Genesis 1). Since He is the Creator, He is obviously the number one authority on how this world and how its people work. It’s just simple logic. So, He is then the best source for how to live this life He created.
I am grateful to have a book that tells me to “love your neighbor,” “turn the other cheek,” “forgive,” and other bits of (sometimes hard to follow) guidance. The Bible is wonderful for so many reasons, but I sometimes grumble about some of God’s laws more than I celebrate them.
6. Free will
Ok, granted, our free will often gets us into trouble. Thanks to free will we have the story of Adam and Eve, every sin mentioned in the Bible, every sin you or I have ever committed…
But on the other hand, look at how much more fulfilling our relationship with God is because we have free will. We aren’t just programmed to worship Him, we choose to. We have a real, organic relationship with a holy God, full of choices and growth toward Him.Praise God for giving us the free will that allows us to have a deep, fulfilling relationship with Him! Click To Tweet
Not only that, but because of our free will, we know that everyone has an opportunity to gain that vibrant relationship with the God of the universe (1Timothy 2:4). Like Romans 10:9 says, all it takes is that you “confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead.” Incredible!
7. Our frailty
This is one of those things that just looks totally turned on its head from our perspective, but that’s because we look through an earthly lens. God sees it entirely differently.
The world says that it is all about strength — being strong enough to do what you need to do and to make it to the top.
God, on the other hand, says that He can work best through us when we realize how very frail we are in comparison to Him.
2 Corinthians 12:9 tells us that God said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
Why am I thankful for my frailty? I want to be dependent on God, not hindering things with my own pathetic strength. I want God working, not me.I can be thankful for my frailty because of the God who says His grace is sufficient. Click To Tweet
“Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” – Paul (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Share your story! Is there anything else on this list that I should have included? What else comes to mind as things we forget to be intentionally grateful for?