“COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS” Pastor Yau
One of the things parents like to train their children is encouraging them to say “Thank you” to anyone who has done good things to them. We all like to see kids, regardless of younger and older, to learn to show appreciation when good deeds were done to them. But when people grow older, it seems harder to appreciate good will or deeds. This tendency, in many cases, got carried over to Christian life. But that was not the case of King David. When he grew older and became more prominent, he was more aware of appreciation to God as it is shown in the scripture quotation above.
There are few things we may learn from David as to how should we be thankful to God especially at this time of THANKSGIVING.
IT IS FROM YOUR HEART: (103:1)
David was talking to his soul, his most inner being, it needs to give thanks to God and praise His holy name. Some are better than others in lip-service by saying thanks this and thank that. While it is not wrong to SAY thanks to people for things big and small, but God is looking into people’s heart. (I Samuel 16:7)
When there is a thankful heart, there will be thankful attitude and thankful expression including giving thanks in words and deeds. All that we say and do come from the inside, the soul as David put it. It is a sign of healthy Christian spirit to have hearts that can feel the blessing and gratitude to express thankfulness.
THANKS FOR WHAT? (103:2-10)
Many people, including some Christians, find it hard to pinpoint any thing they feel need to be thankful of. While the life of one man is different from that of another, we may learn from King David in things he felt the need of giving thanks of.
1) Thank God for forgiving sins: This has to do with our inner being, our soul. Nothing we can do or say or earn can forgive our sins. There is absolutely nothing we can erase our sins so we may be saved. Even in the O.T. time, David understood the importance to have his sins forgiven. Thank God for paying the price of our sins by the death Of His son, Jesus Christ, on the cross. This is for eternity, and David placed it up front on the list of things he felt need to thank God of.
2) Thank God for His healing power: Healing, be it physical, emotional or spiritual, is of vital importance to all of us. Sickness and brokenness are things we all suffer in our life time, and many of them are beyond our ability to heal. When we are sick, either on the inside or from the outside, nothing this world may offer, wealth, fame, power, status, etc. may mean anything to us. Healing is of God and from God. We need to thank God for this.
3) Thank God for deliverance from failures, stumbling and falling. This world worships victors, winners and those who make it to the top. But God is near to those who fail, stumble and fall. He will deliver us from the hurts and injuries of our failures and we need to thank Him for that.
4) Thank God for victories and success. Way too many feel proud in success and winning without acknowledging God from whom all these come. It is God who gives us wisdom, strength and opportunity to be successful.
5) Thank God for satisfying our needs, especially material needs. While the Hebrew word translated ‘desire’ refers to the mouth, it points to the fact that God provides all the needs of our mouths and bodies. All that we may have or possess are His blessing, and we need to give Him thanks.
6) Thank God for renewing our strength when we are weak. Even the strongest man in history will have time of weakness, either physically or emotionally. No one is forever strong. When we are weak, down, hopeless and helpless, God is always there to renew our strength so we will be able to stand up and get going again.
7) Thank God for showing us right and wrong in His laws. The sense and ability of knowing good and bad, right and wrong are from God. Human minds are so corrupted that we can not know it all and need God to lead us to His words.
8) Thank God for His compassion and grace. Many of the things we have in life are not because we deserve, but because of God’s grace and compassion to give us. These include our lives, families, material possessions, friendship, jobs and many other things we enjoy each day.
9) Thank God for deleting our iniquities, sins and failures. If God keep count of all our debts, we have nothing to show Him we deserve entering Heaven. God forgives and forgets and we need to thank Him for that.
10) Last but not least, we need to thank God for His boundless love. He loves us without limit nor condition. His love to us is much greater than the world can measure. He loves us as fathers love their children, unconditional and far reaching without limit.
A heart that is full of thanksgiving and gratitude is a sweet heart. A heart never feels thankful and content is a bitter heart. Giving thanks to God and people is not just right and good to them, It is right and good for yourself as well.