Admin note: Dewunmi has come again oooo! Fantastic year-end advice. We have seen the end of the year, so congratulations, no matter what is going on. There is life, there is always hope. Be thankful and be grateful, 2015 will be better. It is well with you.
It is that time of the year when we take a “soft close audit” of all that the year had been to us. Launching into the year 2014, some of us had a catalogue of what we were trusting God for in the year. We had desires and wishes for ourselves, for our family and even for our dear nation. We had personal desires ranging from getting married to the spouse of our dreams, to birthing our promised Isaacs, to securing that gainful employment, to landing that multi-million dollar contract, to moving into our own homes, and to other emotional desires such as the healing of a loved, the return of a prodigal child amongst a host of others. Yes, a lot of us had probably listed them at the back of our diaries and were expectantly hoping they will come to manifestation not in 2015 or 2016 but in 2014. So what do we do when these things don’t happen? When you don’t get that job you so desperately wanted. When your life is not all that you had hoped or dreamt it would be but rather a complete opposite of it? Yes you feel so pained, disappointed and maybe frustrated and hopeless. I honestly wish I knew why some prayers are answered, and others are not. But unfortunately I do not and never in this life will I understand God’s ways. Regardless of all our unmet expectations, I think we should still give a billion thanks as there is no gift that is more precious than the gift of life.
Unfulfilled expectations can be very traumatic, particularly when we have placed all our hope in these expectations. However giving thanks should not be based on our feelings but on our faith. Let us follow the counsel of Apostle Paul who said, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you”. Don’t lose hope. Let your prayers be filled with genuine praise and thanksgiving for what He has done in the past. Let your hearts be filled with every inch of gratitude for His blessings. Establish memorials in your hearts testifying to the innumerable blessings He has bestowed. Perhaps you are wondering why do I need to give thanks. Well here are a few reasons why I think you should give thanks.
1. As living beings we are instructed to give thanks and praise God. Let everything that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise you the LORD. (Psalm 150:6)
2. Giving God thanks is an acknowledgement that he is a good God , regardless of whatever comes our way (Psalm 118:29) I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. (Psalm 69:30)
3. Giving God thanks reveals our trust in him and his perfect plans. He is working all things for his good purposes, irrespective of whether we understand or not. (Romans 8:28)
4. We should give God thanks should because he daily loads us with benefits. (Psalm 68:19) We shouldn’t be thankful one day a year but also on a daily basis.
Perhaps you are saying I don’t have much to be grateful for, I think you should be eternally grateful for all the wonderful things God has blessed you with. Don’t take things for granted. Even if you didn’t have anything else; thank God for the blessed gift of Jesus Christ. Non-material things such as life, faith, God’s Word, the gift of the Holy Spirit, creation, the freedom to worship, family, friends, laughter, health, your inadequacies, the wonderful gift of love, and even a glass of water. I tell you the list is so endless.
Last year was a very tough one for me. Now that has changed me in a very positive way over the past few months and has made me more appreciative than ever of the things I had hitherto taken for granted.
Now before you go into 2015 and pray for future events, I implore you not to fail to acknowledge His help in 2014 and years past as our forgetfulness and ingratitude towards God can render our prayers ineffective. Take up a gratitude challenge and come up with a list of 50 things you are thankful for. Rather than a draw up a catalogue of prayer points; this time around I think you should draw up a list of praise points. Approaching a new year can bring myriads of responses such as a sense of excitement in looking forward to the coming year or feeling like life is kind of blah and wondering where the year went. I can imagine God saying “Hey guys, don’t give up on me yet; I know how you feel, I will come through with the dividends of praise and thanksgiving for you in 2015”. Regardless of how you feel about the New Year, you can be assured that God has a plan for you in it. So cheer up and be thankful and grateful. And if you still insist on keeping quiet, remember he can raise the stones to cry out and praise just as he said in Luke 19:40.