Life Lesson 37: Despite our best efforts, discouragement is inevitable. But having a relationship with Jesus Christ…
Life Lesson 31: When I set the Lord continually before me I am able to build reminders of His many blessings in my life. I am learning to make it a habit to think about God's goodness, to recognize His presence, and to remember to remain thankful to Him in my everyday life.
“O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them.”
It is easy to lose sight of what the Lord has done in our lives. If we are not careful to take steps to keep our minds focused on God, we can forget all the wonderful things He has done for us. In Psalm 77:11 NASB, we read, “I shall remember the deeds of the Lord; I will certainly remember Your wonders of old.” Think back on what the Lord has done for you in the past and make a record of it so you can be reminded of His goodness and thank Him for all He has done for you, especially if you are going through a difficult time, it is encouraging to remember God’s blessings.
We all know that habits take time to develop. It takes some grit to commit to something you desire, but if we want that something bad enough, we will do the work required, right? When it comes to remembering what God has done for us, we must make every attempt to keep Him at the forefront of our lives. Looking back at what the Lord has done in my life, overflows my heart with gratitude to Him, every time. I did not always make it a habit though, because I was often more consumed with personal desires than I was with acknowledging all the good the Lord was doing in my life. Once I began to recognize that it is only because of God’s grace that I am where I am, I began to think more frequently about His faithfulness and His abundant blessings–both physical and spiritual. I could not help but rejoice and sing praises to Him. I find that the more I praise God, the less inclined I am to focus on myself and my personal needs.
When we remember what the Lord has done for us, we are equipping ourselves for spiritual victory. A grateful heart draws us closer to God. It allows us to be awed by Him and enjoy His holy presence. What do you have in your personal life that represents the goodness of God? Who is that person in your life who reminds you of how much the Lord has blessed you? Is it your significant other, your child, a grandchild, a job, a loved one, or a friend? Every one of us has something to thank God for. Just take a look around at creation itself–more than enough for us to be thankful. In John 6:12 NASB we read where Jesus performed a miracle and used what little food was available to feed thousands. After He had fed the multitude with a lad’s lunch, He told His disciples to pick up the fragments.
“And when they had eaten their fill, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the leftover pieces so that nothing will be lost.” So, they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with pieces from the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten” (John 6:12-13 NASB).
Think about that passage of Scripture for a moment. Here, we have two principles to consider: First, we learn that no matter what we have and how inadequate we may feel, God can multiply and use what we have if we learn to trust in His supernatural power. Do you feel unqualified for a job because you think you do not have the right amount of experience or skills? Faithfully trust the Lord and give Him all that you are and then watch Him do the impossible in your life.
Next, we learn that the “leftovers” are meant to remind us of the Lord’s goodness so that when we experience a season of limited resources, we can trust that the Lord will provide. For example, you may be reminded of the fact that God gave you that job, even though you were not qualified. God gave you a child when you thought it would never happen for you. God delivered your loved one from an addiction when you thought you had lost him or her. God healed your body of an illness when you thought life as you knew it was over or you were nearing the end. God rescued you from a difficult situation when you felt defeated. God brought a spouse into your life when you thought you would never get married. God restored your marriage or a relationship when you thought it was over, and the list goes on. Like the psalmist said, “If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them” (Psalm 40:5 NASB).
Remembering God’s faithfulness and His matchless love for you will help you to depend on Him in the different seasons of your life. I find that journaling significant events of what the Lord has done in my life are helpful reminders that if He did it for me back then, He will do it again. It amazes me when I look back on some of my journals to see how the hand of God has worked in my life, how far He has brought me, and I must say, I am excited to see what else He has in store for the
future. Sometimes when I read them, I am overwhelmed with gratitude because of all that the Lord has done for me. It gives me great humility and joy to be fully aware of His awesome presence in my life, how He cares about me, and how He works in my every situation.
If you have not yet considered all that the Lord has done for you, take a moment today to think about Him and allow the Holy Spirit to recall to mind all that the Lord has done for you. Perhaps you are a person who likes to go by lists, then make a list of all your blessings and give God praise for His kindness. The more you do it, I can promise you, the more natural and authentic it will become a part of who you are, and before long, you will “Remember His wonders which He has done, His marvels and the judgments spoken by His mouth” (Psalm 105:5 NASB). Let us follow in the footsteps of King David and be encouraged to say, “Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things [H]e does for me” (Psalm 103:2 NLT). My prayer is that you, too will be overflowed with gratitude to the Lord for His many blessings.
“Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t give you only that which you remember to thank Him for?”
– Max Lucado
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