Spiritual Formation

A Thought On Gratitude

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” — Charles Dickens by Lt. Colonel Tim Foley

The Thanksgiving holiday offers up the natural opportunity for us to pause and give thanks. The classic hymn written by Johnson Oatman, Jr., “Count your Blessings,” reminds us about the need to pause intentionally to think about all that has occurred in our lives:

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

We are all naturally prone to the ups and downs of life. Health challenges, family needs, work stoppages and natural disasters are just some of the things with which we wrestle. They can easily fill us with a sense of despondency and hopelessness. But this hymn simply reminds us of the power of being thankful even in the midst of difficulty. It lifts us out of our momentary troubles and allows us to grasp the bigger picture of this universe and how we fit in. This Thanksgiving season, take these words to heart. Take inventory of all for which you are grateful. That will allow you to rise out of your difficulties and expand your horizons.

“Gratitude: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”

Webster’s Dictionary

24 Scriptures on Gratitude

 Colossians 2:7

Colossians 3:15           

Colossians 4:2

James 1:17      

1 Thessalonians 5:18  

Ephesians 5:20            

Hebrews 12:28-29      

2 Corinthians 9:15       

Revelation 7:12           

1 Corinthians 1:4-6     

1 Timothy 4:4-5          

Hebrews 13:15            

Psalm 100:4-5

Psalm 9:1

Psalm 103:1-5

Psalm 107:1

Psalm 28:7

Psalm 136:15

Psalm 7:17

Psalm 118:29

1 Chronicles 15:8

Jeremiah 33:11

Jonah 2:9

Daniel 2:23

“Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.”

John Wooden

A Prayer for Thanksgiving

Dear Lord, It’s been quite a year. It is hard to comprehend at times the things that have occurred. The pressures mount from every side, making it feel like my soul is being crushed. Relieve me of this pressure I feel bearing down upon me. Help me to lift the eyes of my heart onto something bigger and better than myself and my situations. Remind me that all is not lost, even as I stagger in the darkness. For each breath I take and every moment I face, I am truly appreciative. Help me to embrace the difficult situations with a renewed sense of joy and contentment. You are truly the Giver of Life. And I am forever grateful. Amen.

Steps to Salvation

The Bible states that God loves you and cares for you as a person (John 3:16). Humankind has been separated from God by sin (Romans 3:23). God sent His Son as a provision for our salvation through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross and His resurrection from the dead (Romans 5:8). Doing good deeds is not enough (Ephesians 2:8-9), but receiving the free gift of salvation is (John 1:12).

You can invite Jesus Christ into your life right now by praying something like the following:

Dear God, I know I am a sinner. I need Your forgiveness and grace. I believe that Christ paid the penalty for my sin, and He died in my place, and He rose from the dead. I invite Jesus Christ to come into my life as Savior. Thank You for saving me from my sin and making me Your child. Help me to grow and learn how to serve You. Amen.

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