I have to admit that when it comes to the idea of developing an attitude of gratitude, I’m a keen advocate. Particularly since God’s Word warns us that an unthankful attitude can cause us to have futile and foolish thoughts and worse, darken our hearts (see Romans 1:21).
No way do I want this to be my story!
I came across the idea of a Thankfulness challenge from Dainty M. See her post on this at: https://daintym.com/2018/12/30/think-thank-challenge-2018/
Dear friends and followers, there are some who expected to celebrate the New Year but did not even make it to the end of 2018. Remember – if it were not for the grace of God, this could so easily have been me, or you!
It’s easy to beat up on ourselves if we haven’t accomplished the goals we set out to achieve, or to entertain a bad attitude because life didn’t deliver the goodies we’d envisaged. As we prepare to close the door upon 2018 and move forward into a brand new year, let’s do so with a positive spirit. Let’s do so with a heart FULL of thanksgiving to our Father God, for his gracious goodness toward us.
And now for my personal take on this challenge, as I look back upon the year(s) gone by.
First and foremost, I am thankful that recent years have seen me develop and maintain an attitude of gratitude. It’s easy to go through life with a “poor me” mentality. Self-pity only blinds our eyes to the good aspects of our current circumstances.
I am grateful for unlimited access to books. I love reading and in the past I have devoured books in the hundreds. This year I’ve read 13 non-fiction books and 7 novels. I’m supremely thankful for the various versions of the Bible available, and in keeping with my goal to read the entire Bible once per year, I have so far read 44 of the 66 books in the Amplified version (Yes, I am somewhat behind!). This makes a grand total of 64 books read this year, which have educated, entertained or empowered me. Yay!
I am thankful for Christmas. Not necessarily the baubles, gifts and glitter of the season but for the real reason we celebrate this event – the birth of Jesus Christ! If God had not sent him into this world, I shudder to think about where you and I would be, as spiritual outcasts doomed to damnation.
I am grateful to God for deliverance. Not just for the instant deliverance from the power of sin, received when I entrusted my life to Christ and chose to become his disciple, but also for daily deliverance from the power of the Enemy unleashed within and against my life and the lives of my loved ones.
I cannot thank God enough for his generosity of heart in granting us the opportunity of eternal life. I’m referring here not just to the assurance of life after death, a glorious future in heaven where neither tears nor trials will exist, but also to the God-quality type of life we can enjoy now, right here upon this earth, as an heir of salvation.
I am hoping for many things in 2019 and beyond, should God spare my life! I am therefore thankful for faith (the substance of things hoped for). I am grateful to God that even if my faith is as small as a mustard seed, it is enough to secure my miracle, or a significant breakthrough. It is sufficient for me to be able to withstand the wiles of the devil and emerge as a victorious overcomer!
During the latter part of this year, I have enjoyed the wonderful ministry of two individuals: (Joel Osteen and Rabbi Schneider). I am so, so thankful for godly ministers such as these two men and the positive spiritual input they have contributed to my life.
I am thankful for the presence and assistance of the Holy Spirit. What a priceless and precious resource to have in one’s life! When I don’t know how or what to pray, when I have no idea what I should do in a particular situation, when I need the back-up of a spiritual heavy weight, guess whom I turn to. That’s right – my confidante and helper – the eminent Holy Spirit!
I am thankful God did not make us robots but blessed us with imagination. Now in the past, I have used this to my detriment, imagining mostly negative scenarios. But what a blessing to be able to use this ability in pursuit of our gifts and calling! What a blessing to be able to use this gift as a visualisation tool for success… to be able to use this in our creative endeavours. Recently, I wrote a poem, Autumn’s Soliloquy (click here to read), which I could not have done without the use of my creative imagination.
And how can I not be grateful for Jesus? He is my Lord and Saviour. He is the author and finisher of my faith. And it is only through him and because of him that I am able to reign over troublesome circumstances.
I am thankful for the gift of kindness. This year, I’ve been on the receiving end of beautiful acts of kindness from two of my sisters, who decided to celebrate me and whom God used to both tell and show me that I am “special” in his sight; as well as through prophetic words of encouragement received from a blogger (meet Holly), someone I have never met! Isn’t God amazing?
I am thankful for love. That is, God’s love! Agapē love. A brand of love that is extravagant and extraordinary. An unconditional love. A love that has been extended to me without reservation. Many people have gone out of their way to show me their disdain. But the one who has every right to shun me, has lovingly embraced me, welcomes me into his presence and wants to associate with me. I can only reiterate with heartfelt gratitude the lyrics of Graham Kendrick’s song, in which he so aptly observes: Such love!
I am thankful for precious memories. Having suffered the loss of my mother two years ago, I am grateful for those memories of when she was here on earth with us. Cherished memories of wonderful times at Christmas and birthdays which she created, are now stored within my memory bank alongside memories of her faithful prayer life, which challenges me to do better in my own spiritual journey.
I am thankful for new opportunities. Every day is a fresh chance to draw closer to God, to become a better version of myself as a disciple of Christ, to improve my relationships, to conquer adverse circumstances.
I am thankful for the various occasions that grant me an opportunity to dress up, meet with family members and friends, or host dinner parties at my home. Concerning the latter, I guess I’m more like Mary in the Bible, who became hot and bothered by all the preparation, rather than sitting and enjoying the company of her visitor. I also love those special celebrations, which enable me to participate in an atmosphere of praise and worship to our Father God. And I’m deeply thankful that I live in a country where I can enjoy such occasions without fear of persecution.
Without the shadow of a doubt, I know I could not survive, or thrive, without Prayer. I am thankful indeed for the opportunity to communicate with my Father God, at any time, without the need to make an appointment, or go through a third party. I am thankful for the privilege of having direct access to the ear and heart of the most powerful being in the universe.
I am grateful for the ability to quench my thirst – whether literally (I live in a country where I can pour myself a clean glass of water to drink whenever I wish), or metaphorically (I can consult an expert or avail myself of the vast knowledge on the Internet) at the click of my mouse.
I am thankful for Rick Warren’s manifesto on the meaning of life, as revealed in his book, The Purpose-driven Life. This year’s re-reading of Warren’s 40-day spiritual guide has been a huge blessing to me, as I’m reminded of God’s five-fold purpose for my life.
I am thankful to God for a sound mind. There are so many people suffering from depression, or dementia, or some form of mental illness. There are also those of us who ordinarily believe that we are of a sound mind, yet we are being driven by different debilitating fears. I thank God for the lessons he is teaching me regarding maintaining a sound mind.
Today and every day, I am thankful for the Truth of God’s Word. The word of family and friends, line managers, national leaders and world rulers (even our own words), can prove fickle, untrustworthy. God’s Word is stable, fixed and unchanging. He will not break his covenant, or alter the word that has gone out from his lips (Psalm 89:34).
I appreciate and am grateful for the UCB Devotional, Word For Today (you can check out the audio and written versions of this resource at: https://www.ucb.co.uk/word-for-today). As anyone familiar with my two blogs: A Purpose-driven achiever and Women of Warfare! can confirm, I highly recommend this spiritual resource written by Bob and Debby Gass and often quote from these within my posts.
I’m grateful for the support of various bloggers, such as Shell Vera, who regularly leave a comment in response to my posts. As a blogger, comments are like gold dust. They are the only means by which I can receive valuable feedback to my posts. Equal thanks goes to those who regularly drop by and “like” my posts. You are a treasure!
I never thought I’d find myself uttering these words but I am thankful for my work. It is a job, rather than a career, but I am thankful that through this position, I’ve been able to help pay bills, maintain the roof over our head, enjoy great holidays and give towards the work of God’s kingdom.
I thank God for the X-chromosome that produced me. As Psalm 139 accurately and definitively declares: I am fearfully and wonderfully made! It’s reassuring to know that God purposed I should be born, even before my conception. It is so awe-inspiring to know that God planned every single detail of my conception from the parents who would raise me, to my geographical location. What an amazing God!
I’m not ashamed to admit it. I’m thankful to God for YouTube! Through this channel I’ve discovered motivational speakers such as: Brendon Burchard, Jim Rohn and Les Brown.
Finally, I am grateful for the zealous individuals who come across my pathway whether in the Body of Christ or in secular situations. I am thankful for the inspirational messages of people such as the Apostle Paul, TD Jakes and Maya Angelou.
Thank you dear Father God, for ALL that you have done within, for and through me, in 2018.
CREDIT: The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com