Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults; and with my song I shall thank Him."

How often I've had to count on the strength of the Lord in my life; the loss of a friend, the loss of a favorite uncle, the loss of a child, moving away from family, friends and ministry, seeing our daughter go through cancer. I'm so thankful that the Lord doesn't not see us during those times. He is El Roi - The God who sees. He doesn't just leave us to fend on our own. He is available and willing to be our strength and carry us through the darkest of times. But note in King David's psalm, it was when he trusted in Him that he was helped. 

Whatever your situation or circumstance is, He can be trusted to give you strength, and to be your shield protecting your mind and soul. As you trust Him you will see, His mercies are new every morning, and His grace is sufficient for every need. Let your heart exult in Him. Change your tune, sing a new song and live A Life of Gratitude. 

Colossians 2:6-7

"Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed."

The more we walk with Christ, the deeper our Christian roots will go, and the more we will begin to look like Him. Rooted so firmly that nothing in this world can sway us, or cause confusion. It's a lofty goal, but one we are instructed to work on. 

1 Chronicles 16:8

"Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name, make known His deeds among the peoples".

It's a wondrous thing that we can call on the name that is above all names, that we can know He will answer us, that we know He is ever present, waiting on us to simply call upon His name. 

Psalm 92:1-2

"It is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning and Your faithfulness by night."

Aren't you thankful that He's the MOST HIGH? There's nothing that is higher. There's nothing or no one that can defeat Him. And to think, He fights our battles for us. I'm so thankful I belong to Him. 

Romans 6:17-18

"But thanks be to God that though you were slaves to sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves to righteousness."

I'm so grateful that Jesus came to purchase us out of our slavery to sin. Because of Him we have been empowered to say "no" to sin in our life. But our heart has to be right in order for us to want to say no. That's a work in progress, isn't it? Obedience comes from the heart, a heart that remembers the cost, and is grateful.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

"In everything GIVE THANKS for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus"

In every situation, give thanks. That's not to say we are to give thanks for the situation itself, but we give thanks in everything because we have a Heavenly Father whom we trust. Trusting Him to use whatever comes into our lives for our good. His word promises that in Romans 8:28, for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. 

When we believe the rest of God's Word then living in thankfulness, as 1 Thessalonians describes, is easy, even in the hardest of situations. Trust Him in the situations of your life and give Him thanks that He is able to work them for your good! In everything!

Psalm 95:2-3

"Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms for the Lord is a great God and a great King above all gods."

But what about those mornings when we just can't seem to get our thankful face on? When the shouting we want to do is anything but joyful? It's especially those mornings we need the reminder of who our God is. He is a great God, full of grace, mercy and love. Full of wisdom for our day. Able to carry us through the worst of days. He is a great King, always ruling in the best interest of His people and He's invited us to come into His presence! 

There is no other god like Him. He is above all, and nothing can thwart His plans to bring His love to us. He's big on forgiveness too. In fact, paid a high price for it. So, on those mornings, remember Who your God is and get your thanksgiving in gear, because you are His and He is yours. That's definitely something to shout about, and be thankful for! Sing it out for the world to hear!

Philippians 4:6-7

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." 

There is plenty in this world to be anxious about. In fact anxiety has become the norm among people we know. It might even be the norm for us. But read these verses again. Think about these words that God had written to us. And be grateful! 

When we come into the place where God is through prayer (conversation with Him) and supplicate (to plead humbly, with reverence and awe because of Who you are praying too), He is already well aware. He is intimately acquainted with us (Psalm 139); He already has His peace waiting to give us in the moment, and in the next moment, and for every moment. 

We're not just coming to a friend that has a sympathetic ear, we come to a God who is omniscient, who has plans in place, who sees the answer before the question was asked. And His answer to you and I is always - trust Me; Rest in Me. When we do, His peace begins to swell within us. His soothing hand calms us. His words talk us down off the ledge, and up out of that ugly pit. His Spirit within us lets His peace start it's work.

This isn't mental gymnastics where you explain away the situation, or the feelings. It's a spiritual maneuver, and a mind-shift that trusts in the One who can actually do something about how we go through this world. He, Himself says not to be anxious about anything, but in EVERYTHING stop and talk to Him, humbly ask for help - then you have to believe that He is able. He is at work. He is there for you. Rest. Stop every thought from swirling by taking it "captive unto the obedience of Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5) and experience peace that can't be explained. It's out of this world! 

A life of gratitude is full of God's peace. Live in it! 

1 Timothy 4:4

"For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer."

Everything God has created is good! Our job is to receive it with gratitude, and set it apart as coming from Him, giving Him all the credit that is due. 

The context of these verses is that some were falling away from the faith. Instead of paying attention to God's word they were following after deceitful spirits, doctrines of demons, hypocrites and liars. In other words, they were following after the world. Living life according to its norms and standards.

The Apostle Paul tells Timothy to be nourished by sound doctrine, to be "nourished on the words of the faith". Can I ask you a question? When was the last time you sat at His table and feasted on His word? It's so easy to just live life and before we know it, we have begun to eat off the world's table; it doesn't take long to acquire a taste for what it serves up, and if we're not careful we can become like those who had been "seared in their own conscience" and not even recognize how far we've moved away from truth.  

Taking time to praise God and thank Him for all He's given us to enjoy resets those thought patterns. So, let's do a reset today. He is the giver of every good thing. And deserves our gratitude.

Hebrews 12:28-29

"Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire."

Heaven awaits! And in Heaven there is no more sorrow, no more tears and nothing can shake His peace from our hearts. When we accepted God's gift of salvation we became a citizen of a new place, a new kingdom, ruled by One who is perfect in every way. This royal Ruler judges righteously. We didn't earn that citizenship, we simply accepted His invitation. 

As Romans 12:2 talks about, isn't it reasonable then that we would want to do something for Him? This verse in Hebrews twelve comes to the same conclusion. We should be so grateful for where we will spend eternity that we should offer Him our "acceptable service with reverence and awe."

But what's "acceptable service" to God? Cain tried to offer what he deemed acceptable, but it was merely the works of his own strength and hands, it wasn't what God had called for him to offer.  Ephesians 2:10 says that God prepared works for you to do. And works for me to do. Inherently "good works" because they were works He designed. Those are the works that we are to serve Him in. That means paying attention to His Spirit's leading. Submitting to Him. And we are to do so with reverence and awe, remembering who our God is, and the judgment He has saved us from. 

Not all will go to His kingdom. Not all will enjoy His peace, His joy, His eternal presence. In fact, its the very opposite. To those He is a consuming fire, rightly judging because they failed to accept the invitation. 

If you're truly thankful for what grace has given you, if you are grateful for an eternity of joy in God's presence, then serve Him. Let His Spirit direct you into that acceptable service. He has plans for your day. Let Him rule, even now in this moment; for living A Life of Gratitude will SHOW itself. 

Hebrews 13:8

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."

Such a simple statement and yet a bold truth to be held on to, especially in a world climate that tries to shape Jesus into the mold they desire, one that fits their lifestyle. I heard someone say, "my Jesus is just different than your Jesus." I wondered how they came to that conclusion when the Bible is clear that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is immutable. He never changes. He is the Word made flesh and dwelled among us (John 1); He is the Savior (John 3), and the One who reconciled us to a holy and righteous God (2 Corinthians 5). 

The crux of it is, when we try to make Jesus Christ into something that fits our worldly perspective, rather than how the Bible describes Him, we end up creating a god of our own. He is not a god to be conformed to our image, but rather we are to be shaped into His (Romans 8).

Jesus Christ is our constant. He doesn't age. He doesn't move His opinion because the world does. He doesn't fail us, ever! He is always faithfully refuting Satan's accusations against us. He is always love. He is always just. He is always pure and true. He is our Redeemer, our Rock, our Bridegroom, our Savior, our Friend. The very extension of God's grace, as He reached down to us in the human form of Jesus who lived a perfect life, never sinning, to become our Christ. 

He may have walked the earth 2000+ years ago, but He’s still as valid today. He’s needed as much by you and I as He was by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

I’m so grateful for that, and grateful that He will be the same for generations to come.

1 Chronicles 29:11-13

“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone. Now, therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name.”

Father, You are above all. There is no one greater, no one more powerful, none can compare to Your glory, all the victory belongs to You, and the majesty as well, because You, our God, are the sovereign, omnipotent One who defeated all enemies. 

I thank you that we can trust you with our world. It all belongs to You. Praise You for Your greatness and power.

If we want strength, You are the one to go to because Your strength is inexhaustible. I ask for strength for each one reading this today. Show them Your glory! 

I thank You for the blessings You give us. Thank You for the strength to face the days we live in, knowing that You’ve already given us victory. Praise You, Lord God.

Ephesians 2:4-5

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (for by grace you have been saved)"

But God... two of my favorite words in the Bible, because its always followed up with something really good that God changed, or that God did, because we could not. 

He is the one that changes everything for us. His mercy and love took us out of the pit and placed us in Christ, a place of perfection, righteousness, and peace. We couldn't do that, But God!!!

Father, I thank You so much for being a God that loves and has mercy on those most undeserving. For the purpose of drawing us into a relationship with You. You saved us by Your grace. I thank You so much for all You do for us, that we could not. 

Colossians 3:15

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful."

What is your struggle this morning? What is the situation that has you so distracted that peace is evading you? Girlfriend, let the peace of Christ rule in your heart. That means you have to give your heart to Him. Your heart that's so full of sorrow and concern for the day, for the future, or possibly for the regrets of the past, choose to let His peace rule in your heart. 

It begins with trust. It begins with the reminder of who He is and what He's done; that in one body, the body of Christ, we have had peace made between us and the God who created all things, knows all things, and wants the best for you. So trust. 

It continues as we walk with Him, in that new life of peace with God. Learning what is pleasing to Him. Living under the control of His Spirit, and not our own desires. We are to let His peace rule in our hearts. And then, BE THANKFUL. Christ has given you eternal life, a life that not only has peace in the future but in this present world.  

Colossians 3:16

"Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thanksgiving in your hearts to God."

The word of Christ - How much do you think about the word of Christ? God's idea of giving us the Bible, and the gospel message of Christ, is that we would think about it, meditate on it, and best of all, benefit from it. 

The phrase actually means to let it live at home in you. It's abiding in the word, and letting it fill you with all the wonder and joy it presents. 

Within its pages we find forgiveness, peace and understanding, and tools for handling this life on earth. For that I'm so grateful.

For you songwriters out there: Psalms are scripture put to music, Hymns are doctrine put to music, and Spiritual Songs are songs of praise and adoration. We need to be singing all of those types of music, according to God's word.  

For the rest of us: Let His word richly dwell in your heart until it overflows with song. God doesn't care what your voice sounds like, He only cares about your heart's aim. Let it swell in gratitude to a God who gave us His word. 

Colossians 3:17

"Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father."

There is a big difference between "whatever you do" and "do whatever you want." The distinction is made when the peace of Christ rules in our hearts, and the word of Christ is richly dwelling in you, it's then the actions that follow will be whatever our Lord would put His stamp of approval on, His signature (His name) on.  And we're to do all of that giving thanks through the Lord Jesus to God the Father.

Have you ever thought about how you are praying? To whom you're praying? I often hear others, even pastors, pray to Jesus. We are taught it as a child. We want a child to see Jesus as their friend, who died for them. So we teach them to pray, "Dear Jesus..."  But, the Bible says we are to address our prayers to the Father. Of course, we are able to address Him because we are in Christ Jesus, so it's in the name of Jesus that we can come to the Father. And as we pray, His Spirit is our interpreter, so to speak. Each play their role in making that connection of communication. 

This verse says we are to give thanks to the Father, through the Lord Jesus. Some might say, it's semantics because they are all three One, and that would be true, they are One. But, each have their own distinct function in bringing us to them self. So the challenge is, are we even aware of what we're saying when we are praying? For those who've been in church a long time, we tend to speak "christianese" and often follow a pattern in our prayers. When that kind of prayer life happens, we lose. We lose out on a rich, full, vibrant relationship with God. 

The crux of this verse - live for our Lord, the way He would live, in everything that we do or say. And do it with a life filled with gratitude to God. That shouldn't be too hard, right? 

It's not hard when we allow the peace of Christ to rule in our hearts and let the word of Christ richly dwell in us, aligning our behavior to that of the Lord's. That's when we'll see a life of gratitude overflow.

2 Corinthians 2:14

"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place."

Sometimes we can feel defeated in our witness and testimony of Christ in our life. But God works in such an amazing way. He takes every stinky, terrible thing in our life and miraculously cleans us up. Like a fresh load of laundry smelling so sweet. 

In Christ He makes us conquerors over what we were and completely changes us from the inside out. But note the words, "always leads..." Where there's a leader, there must be a follower. 

I want to be that follower. One that smells sweet to those around me, not like soured milk. It might require (most assuredly will) treating others in the grace I've been given. It may take forgiving someone for something hurtful they've said or done. It might even require me to speak to someone about an issue, in love, of course. And it also means accepting the rejection that I may feel from those that don't like the way Christ smells. 

As long as I'm following Christ, all will be well with my soul. 

Have a victoriously, sweet aroma day!  

Psalm 136:1

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting"

This psalm (song) speaks of the lovingkindness of God. In fact, every one of it's 26 verses repeats the phrase "For His lovingkindness is everlasting." I think the songwriter wanted us to know without a doubt that our God is like no other and worthy of our praise and gratitude. Here's some of the things that he writes about:

God is good, He is the God of gods, the Lord of lords, He does great wonders, created the heavens and earth, dealt with His people's enemies, performed miracle after miracle, conquered those who rose up against His own.  And verse 23 really gets me when it declares, "Who remembered us in our lowly estate..." Even when we were at our worst, He gave us His best. 

My prayer is that on those days when doubt rears its head and the struggles of this life wear you down, that you will remember who God is, and that you will find His everlasting lovingkindness your companion, so that you will live a life of gratitude. 

1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

"We give thanks to God always for you, making mention of you in our prayers; constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father."

Friends come in all shapes and sizes, don't they? I can remember as a teen pleading with God for a best friend. In my small world I thought that He would just wrap up all I wanted in a friend into one person and we would be besties forever. But He had something else in mind. Mainly, just growing me up! 

Over the years I have been blessed to have some very close friends, even some forever friends, and some friends that have become like family. I've had friends for a season, and friends for a reason, as I've seen God use them in my life. I've had girlfriends to go shopping with, some to go to coffee with, some to walk through hard times with. 

Many of my friendships came from working together in a "labor of love" for a women's event at church; some came from just walking through life together. It doesn't matter how long its been since we've seen each other, the Lord has knit us together in His great tapestry, and we just fit. We can pick up right where we left off.

I pray for them, they pray for me. Paul, in his letter to the believers in Thessalonica makes a point to tell them that he prays for them, that he's thankful for them, that he knows of their faith and love and steadfastness of hope. I probably don't tell my friends often enough how their walk with God encourages me. Maybe it's time to write a few letters myself. Maybe we should all be writing to each other, because we're in this thing called life, together, and they just might need a good reminder of the faith, love and hope we have in Christ. 

We aren't all alike but together we are the body of Christ. Let's serve Him, and each other, in love (no matter how laborious that might be.) Let's be steadfast in the hope we have in Christ. And let's let each other know just how thankful we are for them. 

You've got sisters in Christ that need some prayer. Stop and pray for them now. And Give God Thanks!

Oh, and know, I prayed for you today! 

Luke 17:16-17

"And he fell at His feet, GIVING THANKS to Him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered and said, 'Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine - where are they?'"

This particular story can be found in Luke 17:11-19. Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem, and passing through a small village he found ten leprous men who raised their voices, calling out to Jesus, "Master, have mercy on us!" 

We've been there, haven't we? Calling out for mercy in the situation we are in - It's a natural thing when we realize we can't possibly solve the situation for ourselves. We call out, praying for mercy from God. And like Jesus, passing by these men, God stops and helps us. 

I wonder how many times you and I have failed to take the time to turn around and fall at His feet, giving thanks for His mercy? Oh Girlfriend, He has given mercy after mercy toward us. In fact, His word says in Lamentations 3:22-23 that His mercies are new every morning. Do we just take them all for granted?

Out of the ten that Jesus healed, only one returned to give thanks and give glory to God. And this one was a Samaritan. It wasn't one of Jesus' own people. It was a foreigner. BUT, he knew whom to thank and he knew whom to glorify. 

As one of His own, let's be the first one to run to Him, "glorifying God with a loud voice", falling on our face at His feet, and Give Thanks.  

Jonah 2:9

"But I will sacrifice to  You with the voice of THANKSGIVING. That which I have vowed I will pay, Salvation is from the Lord."

Jonah had gotten himself into one fine mess by running from God. These words in chapter two verse nine were said while Jonah was still IN the belly of the great fish. And as he finished those words of commitment and faith God had him spat out up onto dry land. While the fish may have had enough of Jonah, God wasn't finished with him yet. And He's not done with you yet either. 

Jonah had some time to think while he was in that fish for three days and three nights, and the conclusion he came to while he was still sitting in what we would certainly define as a pit, was that God had "brought up [his] life from the pit" (v 6).  Good to note that there are all kinds of pits that we can find ourselves in. Some of our own doing, as Jonah was currently in, but others that we were born into, that were even more desperate than a stinky fish swallowing us up. 

The next time we find ourselves in a pit, remember, it's a good place to think about all the pits God has rescued us from before. To remember what the holiness of God looks like, and to even, while sitting in the middle of our despicable situation, return to God and thank Him. 

He is our rescuer. our deliverer. "Salvation is from the Lord."  For that we can be grateful!

Isaiah 25:1

"Oh Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You will give thanks to Your name; for You have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness."

Your plans, Lord, they amaze. There's no reason to fret or worry, because you're plans were formed with perfect faithfulness. What a blessing to be able to rest in what You are doing. So often we get frazzled with change, or with unseen circumstances that come up, but nothing is unseen to You. 

Thank You, Father for always having a plan. For the wonders that You work in each of our lives. Wonders, that come out of dire straits to lift us up to see a glimpse of Your glory. I'm so grateful that YOU are my God. Left to any other, I would be in despair. But oh, not with You, for You are faithful, even when we are not. Your plans even encompass those times we go off the trail, and wander in the wilderness. Even there,  You have a plan, a way out, a way through. You, alone, are faithful and true. Praise You Lord God and thank You for being You.

Colossians 1:12

"Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light."

If there is anything that we can be thankful for this November, it is the fact that God sent the Light into the world so that we could become partakers of Him (Hebrews 3:14). Were it not for Jesus Christ we could have nothing to hope for in our future. 

In this world, the future may look rather hopeless, darkness all around us, but look up! Jesus is the Light of the world, revealing God to us. In Christ, we have been qualified to share in His inheritance - Life everlasting! 

Father, help us to walk in a life of gratitude for the blessed fact that we will spend eternity with You, in Your eternal Light, and there will be no more darkness, no more sorrow. Only pure and lasting peace and joy!  You provided all we needed to make that leap from darkness into light through the Word being made flesh (John 1), to show us the way to You. Praise You Lord God for making a way and showing us the Light.

Revelation 11:17

"We give You thanks, O Lord God the Almighty, who are and who were because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign."

How I long for that day, Father God, when You will reign forever. But You are longsuffering, and patient beyond anything we could imagine. You are patient so that all would come to know You. How amazing is that? That You, who have always existed, Creator of all things, and yet, You wait on frail humanity to recognize You as God and Lord. That's love, Lord God. Thank You.

Praise You for always being here, always going before us. Always waiting on us. I give You thanks O Lord God the Almighty. You were, You are, and You always will be. Help us to catch up to what You are doing in our lives. pray for the day that You will reign in Your great power. Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent God. I love You. And give You thanks.