Monday, November 24, 2008

Thankful Day

"Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:"

Benefits, as defined in Strong's Concordance:
treatment, an act of good, service or requital, as hast served, benefit, desert, deserving, that which he hath given, recompense, reward; to treat a person well, to ripen, to wean, bestow on, deal bountifully, do good, recompense, requite, reward, yield

As thanksgiving approaches, it is a time to consider all of the wonderful blessings that we have in our lives. It is a week to put aside our worries, concerns, and discontents in this life and to begin again to remember the benefits that God has bestowed upon us!

"Who forgives all your iniquities"
The first thing that I am deeply thankful for is my salvation through Jesus Christ and the love of a Father! Although none of us deserves this, God thought it good to send His only begotten Son to this earth, in order that He should die for our iniquities and bless us with everlasting life! If I am thankful for nothing else, I am thankful for this act of love alone!

"Who heals all your diseases"
Although I have never had a life-threatening disease in the medical sense, I was bound to the life-threatening disease of sin. It was through Jesus' blood that I was released from this slavery. I am thankful this season and all year round for His healing my iniquities, the diseases of my heart, and making me well.
I am also thankful for the healing that His stripes provide from actual illness. I am thankful for the doctors that He provides to assist with some of these issues of health. I am thankful for the skillful hands of the surgeon who fixed my husband's knees, removed my gall bladder, and for the divine healing that God provided of my son's heart.

"Who redeems your life from destruction"
Before coming into a relationship with Jesus Christ, I was headed straight for the pit of Hell, where I would have spent eternity weeping and gnashing my teeth, crying out in pain and torment. Thankfully, I hit a deep enough pit on earth that I woke up to the reality of the truth that I needed Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. Through turns of events in my life, I came to understand the love that God has for me, and I began to see Him working in my heart and in my life. There are things that have happened and things that have been thwarted because I have put my trust in Him and believe with all of my being that He is God and Lord over all! You can't tell me He isn't real. There is no such thing as luck or coincidence. It's the hand of God that has worked in my life. Nothing else. No one else. Jesus Christ. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Heb. 11:1) Thank You, Jesus, for redemption!

"Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies"
Remember the definition of benefits? To treat a person well, to bestow on, to deal bountifully, to reward... God has poured out His lovingkindness and tender mercies over me on a daily basis. His mercies, His compassions, are new every day. God is a gentleman, and He knows what we need more than we do. Even on my worst days, I can go to the throne of grace and receive of His lovingkindness and tender mercies and know that all will be well with my soul. I am thankful that Jesus knows intimately the struggles that I face on a daily basis, and that He is there to meet my uglies with compassion and a desire to love me back to a healthy heart, no matter how long it takes. Thank You, Jesus, for loving me no matter what, even when no one else would! Unconditional love is a gift I gladly receive!

"Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's"
Jehovah Jireh ~ He's my Provider! God has given me so many good things! I am thankful first for His broken body, my Bread of Life, and for His blood, shed for my sins! I thank God for my salvation through Jesus! I thank God for the food that He gives my soul through His word! I am fed daily by the words that He spoke, that I can live by. I thank Him for the food that is on my kitchen table every day, for the roof that is over my head, for the clothes that are on my back. I am thankful that I don't have to worry about what I will eat or drink or what I will wear; He has provided it all! His Word promises me these things! I am thankful for the job that my husband has, another form of provision. I am thankful for the blessings that He has poured out in my life, providing me with gifts that nourish my soul, such as a wonderful husband, our children, joy, creativity, the spiritual gifts that I am blessed with, the church family that loves me and that I have the honor to love, the freedom to worship Him, and so much more!

We have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving! Let's not only be thankful today or this week, but lets remember to thank God daily for the benefits that He has bountifully bestowed upon us, deserving or not!

(Scriptures taken from NKJV text, Psalm 103:1-5)

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