My friend asked me to prepare a word of encouragement a few months ago and she gave me the topic Gratitude.  I must admit at the time, I wasn’t feeling too grateful.  I was having a self imposed pity party and I felt justified.  However, she told me the Holy Spirit directed her to ask me.  I first thought yea…yea, the Holy Spirit didn’t say anything, but that was far from the truth.

I have found that anytime I teach something, God teaches me in the process.  He uses my study time to minister to me first.  The scripture says that the word of God is “living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”  Hebrews 4:12  I can personally attest to feeling sliced and diced when reading the scriptures!!

So, when my friend asked me to prepare a message, I said the good Christian thing…let me pray about it.  Now, some of us pray and some of us, well…let’s face it…use it as an excuse, because we know we are going to say no.  Well, in this case I couldn’t.  God gave me this assignment.  I believe He wanted me to focus more on what I am grateful for than on my problems.
The first thing He taught me was that I could be grateful because of what’s already been done!!  So, I began to list 10 things I am thankful for.  I encourage you to do so too!!  It will help you realize the many blessings you have in your life. 
I know it’s difficult to find things we are grateful for in the midst of your problem, so I thought I would help you out!  Always remember that in the hard and difficult times in our lives, there are also many blessings.  The single most important reason to be grateful is that Christ died on the cross for our sins.  I don’t care what you have done; forgiveness is waiting for you at the Cross of Calvary.  The bible says, “but God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8  What that means my friends is, that God loved us so much that He sent Christ to die on the cross for our sins.  Christ didn’t die for perfect people, but for imperfect people.  It is for this reason we should be grateful. 
We can also look back over our lives and see what God has already done for us!  We all have our own stories of how God has helped us make it through tough times.  So, as I promised, here are some other reasons why you can be grateful:

1.      God is a Provider – He states that every animal in the forest is his, so surely He can meet your needs! (Psalm 50:10)
2.      God is a Healer – He is the Lord our God who heals us!  (Exodus 15:26)
3.      God is a Protector – We can run to Him and we will be safe!  (Proverbs 18:20)
4.      God is a Friend – Abraham was called a friend of God and so are we!  (James 2:23)
5.      God is a Mother and Father – if your parents have passed away or are not good parents, the Lord promises to take care of you!  (Psalm 27:10)
6.      God is a Comforter – God promises to comfort us! (John 14:18)
7.      God is a Deliverer – God will deliver you from every fiery trial!  (Daniel 3:17)

Always remember that despite what you are going through, there are always reasons to be grateful.  I encourage you to make your own list today!  It will cause you to focus on a great God who is faithful!  If He’s been there for you before, He will surely be there for you again!


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