The Bible is full of scriptures that hint about how powerful praise and thanks are…that “attitude of gratitude” that we’ve all heard about. There are verses that say that the lack of thanks leads to unrighteousness.
God ordained sacrifices of thanksgiving, which, interestingly enough, were tied into peace offerings. There’s a connection, for Paul said that our supplications must be offered with Thanksgiving if we want the peace of God to rule in our hearts. In fact all prayer is to be given in thanks!
God even said that the sacrifice of thanksgiving was “so that you may be accepted.“
All too often, though, we allow ourselves to forget to stop and thank God. Or maybe we think about it on Sunday and follow the prompting of our worship leader to thank Him. But that’s not thanking Him in everything. That’s not even following Daniel’s example and stopping three times a day to pray and give thanks.
Today I discovered a “Gratitude Community” which pretty much began and grew up on accident. (Not really. I’m sure the Holy Spirit knew exactly what He was doing.)
The goal for each person is to build up a list of 1000 gifts from God, for which to give Him thanks. You see…so often we write lists of gifts we want. But this woman was inspired to write a list of gifts she already had.
Some are keeping their lists personal and private, while others are blogging them. The woman who started it writes that it “changed her life.” I can well believe it!
I want to join this community, both for my own sake, and for the purpose of making it clear that this blog…this place where hope calls…is a place of praise. A place where God gets the glory. A place where we remember to thank Him in everything.
Monday is the “official” day for blogging your praises, but I’m starting today. Hopefully I’ll quickly be able to get into the habit of adding more to my list every Monday, but perhaps you’ll see additions to the list tagged onto the end of other blog posts as well.
1. Salvation, both for eternity, and for every moment of every day. Salvation from fear and anger. From depression and despair. From selfishness and pride and all the things that I am still discovering pull me down.
2. Hope. For God is my eternal, never-changing Hope, no matter what comes against me.
3. The Internet. Some might laugh, but without it I would not get the chance to discover just how many thousands of people are serving my Lord alongside me.
4. Music. I cannot imagine my life without music. Without anointed praise songs. Without the haunting strains of a violin and the gentle whispers of a piano. Without the heartbeat of the drums and the pulsing of the electric guitars in my church’s worship service.
5. My hands. So much of my life revolves around the use of my hands. I play the music I love so well. I type and write. I create things that soften my home and show others that I love them. I serve my family and my Lord. God asked me once if I would give Him my hands–give the use of them to Him. Was I willing to let Him take them from me, if He so chose? It was one of the most difficult things He has ever asked me to do. But when I finally surrendered them…when my heart finally reached the place where I knew I would still love Him if He took them…He gave them back and told me that He’d placed healing in my hands. I long to see that healing flow. May the songs I play be filled with the healing power of His anointing. May the words I write come from His heart that they may touch and heal broken hearts. And may the things my hands do for my family heal my own heart and cure it of the complaining I am tempted to do over those very things.
6. My family. I am truly blessed.
7. My home. It’s not my dream home. Yet my dream God lives inside of me, and if my home is His, then it is glorious!
8. The healing He did on my husband’s hand two days ago.
9. My church, for they are my spiritual family. I am blessed to serve with them.
10. This laptop that I’m writing on, which is a gift from my husband, but also from God. It allows me to write in the warmth of my living room, rather than the cold of the unheated basement (where the old computer makes its home).
Anyone want to thank Him with me? Start your own list in one of those old notebooks you have laying around. Start blogging your gifts. Or just post a few things here in the comments that you praise God for! Testify of His goodness in your life!