Tag Archives: praise

Thankful

Are you thankful?

thankful-2

Do you appreciate all the blessings of God in your life?  Do you acknowledge the free flow of grace on your life?  Do you applaud the presence of God always with you?

 

You should be.  And you should express it.  With words.  With worship.  With works.

 

Because in doing so, you keep yourself from being drawn in by the world to selfish and self-centered ways.  You protect yourself from being influenced away from your faith.  You guard your heart from being persuaded by something other than God’s love.

 

Romans 1:21 – because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened

 

See the danger of not being thankful?  Futility in thinking you know better than God and choosing to go your own way – “Worthless in their thinking [godless, with pointless reasonings, and silly speculations]”.  Foolishness in your comfort choices that create confusion and lack of wisdom – “The result was that their foolish minds became dark and confused”.

 

There are no benefits to being ungrateful.

There are no blessings to being unthankful.

 

Because we’re called to be thankful.  Verbally and vocally.

 

Like the crowd who was praising Jesus as He rode into town – “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!  Peace in heaven and glory in the highest” (Luke 19:37-38).  This upset the religious leaders, but Jesus welcomed it.

 

Because He expects our praise.  He longs for our worship.  And when we refuse to be thankful enough to give it, “the stones would immediately cry out” (Luke 19:40).  Nature will pick up and take our place.  Nature will sing the victory song of the Savior and proclaim His greatness.  Nature will give the Savior the glory and honor He deserves.

 

When it’s OUR place to be thankful and sing His praises.

  • Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. (1 Chronicles 16:34; Psalm 106:1; Psalm 107:1; Psalm 118:1,29; Psalm 136:1)
  • So we, Your people and sheep of Your pasture, Will give You thanks forever; We will show forth Your praise to all generations. (Psalm 79:13)
  • Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. (Psalm 100:4)
  • In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
  • And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. (Colossians 3:15)
  • Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! (1 Chronicles 16:8)
  • To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever. (Psalm 30:2)
  • Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. (Hebrews 13:15)

 

I keep reminding myself that I am designed to count my blessings, not my problems.  I am created to praise my Creator, not my circumstances.  I am fashioned to give my all for the Savior who gave His all for me.

thankful

So today, I can choose to be thankful or I can choose to be selfish.  I can focus on His grace and be blessed, or I can focus on the world’s ways and be disappointed.  I can keep my eyes on Him who created me to be a royal heir, or I can keep my eyes on all the shortcomings the world says I have.

 

Loving Father, help me to be thankful – through all, in all, with all.  Let my heart always sing the song of thanksgiving for Your love and it’s bountiful blessings.  And let my eyes stay focused on Your grace that gives me an abundance of reasons to be thankful each day.

 

Marie Fremin, 9/18/16

2 Samuel 22

I wrote an email to my friend many years ago.  I referenced 2 Samuel 22 and how David’s song was relatable to her situation.  I don’t have the who or the when, just the foundation of this blog.

 

David spent many years running from Saul’s wrath as the anointing of God was upon him to be king.  Then Saul dies and David becomes king of Judah.  After tension with Saul’s son, David becomes king of all Israel.  The Philistines are defeated, and the ark is returned.  David is promised that “your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you” (7:16), a legacy as reward for his faithfulness.  David goes out and begins to subdue the surrounding heathen nations.  Taking a break from battle, David sees and then steals Uriah’s wife to marry her; even with sincere repentance, their son dies because of David’s sin.  David’s sons commit heinous acts, and despite his forgiveness of the one still alive, he again becomes a fugitive in his own land.  Yes, his son comes after him to take over the kingdom.  When this son dies, David returns to his throne and makes right a wrong committed by Saul.

 

After all this, David takes a moment to thank God.  For protecting him.  For guiding him.  For keeping him.  He lifts up heartfelt praise to His Protector “… on the day when the Lord had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul” (1).  Because through it all, God has been good to him.

 

And you can relate this back to your life.

 

Are you going through a hard time?  David’s song to God in 1 Samuel 22 that can help you find peace and stay focused on God.  Here are the keys:

2 samuel 22

5-6: You will encounter trials, temptations, and difficult situations.  There is no avoiding them.  You can’t run away from life’s problems, and you can’t ignore them.  Because when you do, the waves will eventually find you and force you to face them.

  • “When the waves of death surrounded me, The floods of ungodliness made me afraid.  The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me.

 

18-19: They will be strong. They will be overwhelming.  They will be scary.  They will look and feel impossible.  They will darken the world around you.  They will cause you to question God and His will.  They will cause you to doubt your faith.  They will bring you to tears.

  • 18 He delivered me from my strong enemy, From those who hated me; For they were too strong for me.  19 They confronted me in the day of my calamity, But the Lord was my support.

 

2-3: But no matter what you go through and how scary it is, there is a simple truth that should be your foundation – in whatever you go through, God can be trusted.  He is your place of safety, your source of strength, and your bedrock of comfort.  He will uphold you and keep you through every battle, down every rocky road, and in every circumstance.

  • And he said: “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, My stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from violence.

 

7: Ask Him for help.  God knows what you are going through.  He sees every difficulty, every tear, and every heartache.  He knows how you are feeling and what you are thinking.  How you want to react.  How troubled your spirit is.  He hears every prayer and every whisper of your heart.  He knows your every thought and every distress.  He understands your every fear and every doubt.

  • In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry entered His ears.

 

14-16: He wants to help you.  He can open your eyes so you see how He is fighting for you, defending you, and positioning you.  How He is clearing the right path before you to keep you in line with His purposes.  Don’t allow yourself to be consumed with retribution or revenge.  Don’t focus on how right you think you are.  Don’t waste time rehashing someone else’s wrongs.  Focus on God, and allow Him to be your Defender.

  • 14-16 – 14 “The Lord thundered from heaven, And the Most High uttered His voice. 15 He sent out arrows and scattered them; Lightning bolts, and He vanquished them.  16 Then the channels of the sea were seen, The foundations of the world were uncovered, At the rebuke of the Lord, At the blast of the breath of His nostrils.
  • 48-49 – 48 It is God who avenges me, And subdues the peoples under me; 49 He delivers me from my enemies. You also lift me up above those who rise against me; You have delivered me from the violent man.

 

17: And as you focus on God, He will order your steps so you walk toward Him and His purposes.  As you do, He will lift you above and possibly out of your circumstances.  He won’t allow the waters of life’s situations to drown you.  His loving hand is positioned and ready to scoop you up from the raging waters.

  • He sent from above, He took me, He drew me out of many waters.

 

20: And why won’t you drown?  Because He delights in you.  Yes, He does.  He created you to be uniquely and wonderfully you, and He cherishes you because of how unique you are.  You are His artwork, a painting of His grace and a poem of His love.  So He delights in you, and because He does, He brings you into His peace, which will fill every broad place.

  • He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me.

 

29: He shines His light and His love into your confusion, your indecision, your insecurities, and your hesitations.  He will fill all the questions, all the doubts, and all the fears you have.

  • For You are my lamp, O Lord; The Lord shall enlighten my darkness.

 

30: He will empower you to stand strong and keep fighting.  He will encourage you to keep believing for His good end.  He will engage you to make better (different) choices.  He wants you to be the person who can stand steadfast against any circumstance and endure through any trial.  He is forming you into a mature individual with a steady countenance.

  • 30: For by You I can run against a troop; By my God I can leap over a wall.
  • 33: God is my strength and power, And He makes my way perfect.
  • 34: He makes my feet like the feet of deer, And sets me on my high places.
  • 36-37: You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your gentleness has made me great. 37 You enlarged my path under me; So my feet did not slip.
  • 40: For You have armed me with strength for the battle; You have subdued under me those who rose against me.

 

44-45: And in the end, you will come out victorious.  It could be a change in attitude, perspective, or habit that effects your life to come.  It could be a blessing that propels you more fully into your purpose.  It could be a physical deliverance, healing, or miracle.  Whatever the outcome, God will make sure that His glory is on display while your good is had.

  • 44 “You have also delivered me from the strivings of my people; You have kept me as the head of the nations. A people I have not known shall serve me.  45 The foreigners submit to me;

 

And what does He ask in return?

 

Don’t lose your praise. Don’t forget to be thankful.  Don’t be too stubborn to worship Him.  Acknowledge who He is.  And call out to Him for who you want Him to be.  Confess His goodness and remind yourself of His many blessings.

  • 4a: I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised
  • 31: As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
  • 32: For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God?
  • 47: The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock!  Let God be exalted, The Rock of my salvation!
  • 50: Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles,
    And sing praises to Your name.
  • 51: He is the tower of salvation to His king, And shows mercy to His anointed, To David and his descendants forevermore.

 

Don’t stop doing good. Don’t stop doing right.  Don’t stop repenting.  Don’t stop spending time with Him.  Don’t stop striving for more of Him.

  • 21-25: 21 “The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me. 22 For I have kept the ways of the Lord, And have not wickedly departed from my God.  23 For all His judgments were before me; And as for His statutes, I did not depart from them.  24 I was also blameless before Him, And I kept myself from my iniquity.  25 Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness, According to my cleanness in His eyes.

 

Don’t stop loving people. Don’t stop encouraging people.  Don’t stop forgiving people.  Be merciful, kind, and generous as often as you can.  Be happy and upbeat on purpose.  For as you treat people, so God will measure it back to you.

  • 26-28: 26 “With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful; With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless; 27 With the pure You will show Yourself pure; And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd. 28 You will save the humble people; But Your eyes are on the haughty, that You may bring them

 

One chapter, a look back at the struggles and problems of a man caught in strife.  One man, deemed by God to be “… a man after My own heart, who will do all My will” (Acts 13:22).  One prayer, a song of praise for the God who protected Him.

 

Yet so many lessons.  What will you take from it?

 

Marie Fremin.  4/3 and 4/4/16.