Thursday, December 27, 2012

Seventy and More Reasons To Give Thanks

I like numbers.

Numbers give me reasons to count.

Counting my blessings reminds me to be thankful.

Seasons, times, landmarks and milestones are reminders to count the numberless blessings for which I can give praise and thanks to God.

So it is today. I have a unique number to note and unique reasons to count my blessings.

This is my seventieth post since I started blogging a little over a year ago. If I should count, I have more than seventy reasons to give thanks to God as 2012 comes to an end. He permitted me to see many evidences of His goodness and mercy on display in my life, and in the lives of my loved ones this year.

If we can count the grains of sand on the beach,
perhaps we will be able to count ALL His blessings in our lives.

In November, 2011, I started writing answers to my prayers and the numerous blessing I receive each day on slips of paper, and kept them in a box. I must admit I have not done it as faithfully as I wanted to over the past 6 months.

But this morning I opened the box and read some of the prayer points I wrote and pasted on the lid. My heart was thrilled to note how many of the prayers have been answered. I read some praise reports too.  It was been amazing to read the many reasons for which I have given thanks to God this year. They were too many to count.

"Those that are much in praying, will be much in thanksgiving".

I had much to pray about, many requests laid before God, and much to intercede and entreat God for. I can boldly declare that I also have so much to give praise to God for. I was filled with exhilarating joy seeing so many praise reports and many evidences of the God's goodness poured into my life and into the lives of my loved ones.

Counting my blessings:
- My first son got admission into the university, he got on the basketball team (his dream) and we have many evidences that God went ahead of him to prepare the way for him.
- My second son got on honour roll in high school.
- My husband travelled thousands of kilometres in safety.
- We had provision for renovation of the walls of the rooms and bathrooms damaged by water leakage.
- We saw God's hand at work on behalf of our siblings - breakthroughs and answered prayers
- We celebrated 20 years of marriage with testimonies of God's faithfulness to us.
- My writing reached readers in 58 countries across all the continents of the world through visitors to the blog, friends who share the messages by email and articles published in Effectual.
- God held my soul in life. So grateful, Lord.
- And many more…

The high point in counting my blessings was the joy of knowing that the Son of God, Who sits at the right hand of God in glory, before whom the angels and archangels bow, left His throne in heaven and came down to earth for me and for you.

He came knowing the frailty of humanity and the suffering awaiting Him here on earth. Yet He came. And because He came I have hope and the fullest of belief that through the many tests and through the fiery furnace, He will uphold me.

He is the reason why I can say "I would have fainted, had I not believed that I would see the goodness of God in the land of the living" (Ps 27:13), when another twist was thrown into an already complicated situation. Even the doctors are perplexed.

He is the reason why I am confident that God would not abandon or forsake me but He will see me through to the other side when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

Because He came in flesh as a baby who depended on others and was humbled by His neediness, I know that He knows my pain, distress and discomfort. He knows where it hurts the most. I can say with assurance that there is a divine purpose in every situation that God is taking me through. That it is for His glory and for His honour.

Because Jesus came as flesh and He dwells in us, we are enabled to live lives that brings honour and glory to Him because of what He does in us - Darnly.

I can declare with utmost conviction and assurance founded on the unfailing love of God that He did not despise my affliction. He did not hid His face from me. He heard me when I cried unto Him (Ps 22: 22-24). Thank You, Lord.

God's unfailing love is the foundation of our hope and the fountain of our joy. This hope is renewed at Christmas because we are reminded that Jesus came for a purpose, and we are assured that it is because of us that He came.

Our joy overflows afresh because Jesus came to dwell with us. This knowledge causes a high praise to arise from within us, until it bursts forth in singing, adoration and worship of God Who gave Jesus for us.

Many of the Christmas carols we sang with gladness this week echoed the joy and hope Jesus brought to the world and to us.

It is also possible for us to experience Christmas everyday in our lives. It is when the light of God's glory radiates through us whether we are on the mountain top or we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death.

It is when those around us can see the grace of God abounding in our lives through the good times and the bad times, and it touches their lives in such a way that they are reminded that Jesus came, and they are the reason why He came.

Christmas is when we can hold on to the hope that Jesus brings and allow His joy to continue to effuse from our lives come what may—pain, distress, discomfort, uncertainty, complications, perplexities etc.

It is for this inexplicable hope and joy Jesus gives that I am most grateful as I count the innumerable blessings God richly poured out on my loved ones and I in 2012.

These slips of praise report are unquestionable evidences that God heard my cry and He answered me when I called on Him, and these are just a tip of the iceberg of God's numberless acts of wonder in our lives.

Therefore I know without any doubt that He is more than able to fulfil every word He has spoken concerning me. That knowledge gives me a confident outlook for 2013 -- no matter what may come my way, my life is in God's hand.

It is my prayer that you also will experience this confident assurance that comes with knowing Jesus came just for you as you prepare to step into the New Year. May this assurance bring you hope and joy.

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