Tuesday, October 9, 2012


“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name” (Psalm 100: 4, NIV 1984).

“Betty was a patient of mine with advanced ovarian cancer that should have taken her life. She was treated very aggressively with chemotherapy and returned to me ten years later, cured of her malignancy. However, she developed a blood disorder caused by her treatment that would cause her death within a few years. I have known people who have been very angry and bitter in similar circumstances. Betty simply said, ‘I am just grateful for the ten years I have been given so far.’”
                                                                                            When Your Doctor Has Bad News

If you are like me, you spend your life far more often begging God than thanking Him. This makes no sense at all given the enormity of all that He has done for me.

Like Betty above, the happiest people in the world are those who see their lives in terms of blessings rather than need. So what keeps me from being like Betty?

What keeps me from a constant state of sincere gratitude?

Perhaps I’m not thankful because I fail to recognize the Hand that holds the blessings. Good things happen; I look at my work and credit myself, or look at the social system and credit the social system, or look at the natural consequences of design and assume that this is the way it should be or I stay so busy that I never give it a thought.

And sometimes, due to present urgencies, I focus on the difficulties of the moment and forget the blessings of the past---the “what have you done for me lately?” syndrome.

How can I change?

Perhaps I can:
  1. Take time to remember God’s past blessings in a deliberate way--- develop a list, a journal of blessings and answered prayer.
  2. When I pray desperately for ones I love, back up in the prayer and thank God for the blessings in their past before I continue with the request.
  3. When I beg God for a personal need, back up in my prayer and first thank Him for all the past blessings I have received.
  4. Realize that every system, whether natural, man-made or religious, has a Designer, and thank God for His design that makes it work so well so often.
Dear God,
As I move forward with you through a complex life, let me walk in shoes of gratitude.

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