Be Grateful + Praise God

Last Thursday I attended my last young adult lifegroup for the year at Church. My young adult pastor asked the question “What are the ways to stay positioned in God during the Christmas season and month of December”

I mentioned being grateful because sometimes, we can get caught up in what we’re asking from God, what we’re seeking Him or waiting on God for. That we forget to appreciate the blessings that we already have and be thankful for what God has done in our lives.

The funny thing about it was, few hours before attending the lifegroup. I have been patiently waiting to hear back from the people I had applied for a job. I checked my email that same day and unfortunately, I didn’t get the job.

I’m going to be honest and transparent. Did it hurt? Yes. Was I emotional? Definitely. I cried – a lot! Not many know, but I have been waiting for a job for a year and half. Writing resumes, cover letters, CV’s and apply for every possible job vacancy gets tiring.

But the one thing that I’m grateful for, in that moment of disappointment was that I didn’t allow my feelings and emotions to determine how I viewed God. I didn’t let that moment of feeling disheartened to depict the God that I serve.

So I didn’t get job, I’m still going to thank God. It hurt me, but I chose to give the glory to God. Why? Because no matter what season I am in, God is still God. My God is still good! He still sits on that throne and reigns forever. I chose to praise Him because He is still my Provider! God’s timing is the best timing. And maybe I didn’t get the job because I wasn’t prepared, and obviously I didn’t meet their requirements but you know what? God will open doors that no man can shut. In this situation, me being rejected, meant that opportunity, that door was shut. That doesn’t mean I need to bang on the door, or beg the employer to give me a second chance or step away from the will of God and do things my own way.

The truth is, whatever job that God has for me will always be better than what I am seeking for. What you are praying and seeking God for, what He has in store for you will ALWAYS be better than what you could think. The minute I begin to do things in my flesh, my own power, intellect, my plan – I may get the results I want but it will always be temporary. What God has for me is eternal!

The wait will never outlast the promise that God has for you. I want to encourage you all, those who are waiting on the Lord. Your waiting season may be long, it feels like forever, you feel like throwing the towel. But the wait will never outlast the promise. The promise of God will always be there. Don’t give up or lose patience.

The wait will never outlast the promise that God has for you.

This Christmas season, we can have a scarcity mentality. I’m not working but I do know that for some people, you’re working very hard. Others are trying to make ends meet and you begin to notice the things you don’t have. But even so, it is very important that we don’t lose the attitude of gratitude.

Pastor Heather Lindsey posted an Instagram post a few days ago saying “Sometimes we focus on what we don’t have and overlook what we do have”

We can be wrapped up in the gift than the giver.

If every time I enter the presence of the Lord, and I approach the throne of God and always bringing my problems before him…There’s nothing wrong with giving the Lord our problems. We are to cast our burdens and surrender. But if each time I come to God with my problem but hardly praise him – something has to change. If I only spend time with God to bring my needs or when I’m in trouble but never sit with Him because I want to draw near to Him – something has to change.

Psalm 100:4 says,

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name”

In Isaiah 29:13 (NKJV) –

The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.”

The problem with the people of Israel, was that they worshipped the Lord out of tradition, something that was expected of them, they didn’t connect with God. They weren’t present but passive in their worship. They weren’t intimate. God wants us to worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:23). At the end of the day, He is looking at our heart.

If my view of God is that He is genie. Like in the cartoons, you rub the lamp and the genie comes out and asks “What is your deepest and greatest wishes? What is your heart’s desires?” So if I am praising God, using big words, saying many different Names but don’t understand the reason why I’m saying. My heart is distant from Him and the words that leaves my lips are empty phrases…and I say them because I want to rub God in a good way so that He will answer my prayers, then I need to re-evaluate the reason why I have a relationship with God. Why do I choose to serve, why do I love Him? It shouldn’t be about what we get from Him. We have to realise that it’s not about us but about God.

We are to always praise and worship Our Father. I lavish praises on Him because I love Him, adore Him and He deserves it. He is the Almighty God, the “I AM”. My God is faithful, merciful, full of grace and He is the Alpha and Omega. I worship God because without Him, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Psalm 34:1 –

“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth”

The biggest test of our life will come when it comes to our response to the not-so-good times. There is a level of maturity that comes when you’re still able to praise God even when you can’t see. It’s not about how many times you praise Him when he blesses you or gives you breakthrough.

Can you still say God is good when He leads you to a different path? Can you still raise up your hand when you don’t get that raise. Can you still lift your hand in the air, when you’re in the valley? Will you still shout “HALLELUJAH!” when He says no? Can praise still be in your mouth, like the Psalmist David said, “at all times”?

Or do I allow my circumstances to taint my worship? Do I let my environment, my emotions to affect my adoration for the Lord? Do I begin to ignore God when He interrupts my life, my plan and gives me an instruction that is beyond me?  Can you still be grateful when you’re not where you thought you would be in life?

I say this not to look down on any person but I am trying to encourage us all to worship and praise God for who He is alone and not only for what He can do.

When you have the attitude of gratitude, the way that you view your problems will be different. There is a perspective change. You begin to lift your eyes and rest it on God and not on your circumstance. You don’t view your standing point the same way.

Can we all be a part of a challenge?

Find 5 things that you are grateful every day for a whole month. You can have that 1 thing that you will always be grateful for God for and that’s okay. Let’s find 5 things we are grateful and you’ll be surprised.

God bless,

Susan xx

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