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3 Reasons to Thank God and How

About three weeks ago I travelled by water in a speed boat to attend a friend’s wedding. It was my second time I was travelling in a speedboat, so I was relaxed to a large extent because my first experience was pleasant. On that day, the boat took off from the ferry as usual and we were soon in the middle of the river. Suddenly, the boat slowed down and came to a stop. I was not the only one terrified in the boat. Another passenger who probably was a first-timer on a boat trip asked “what happens now…in the middle of nowhere?”  The helm jokingly replied “we have to get down and push.” That didn’t sound as funny as he probably intended to me. I quietly prayed all manners of prayer and biblical declarations I could remember, while trying my best to stay calm. Diverse scary thoughts ran through my head as the other helmsman at the engine side kept trying to put the engine to start again. After about a couple of minutes that seemed like forever, the engine came alive again and we safely arrived at our destination not too long after that. All the way, I couldn’t stop praying and anticipating for our safe arrival. God knows how I would have reacted if the boat had stopped one more time on that journey. 

When I got home, I kept imagining how many things God takes care of on our behalf which we often take for granted simply because we are not exposed to their flip sides. This thought also crossed my mind some months ago in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic when my husband fell sick. I wasn’t too worried until when he became very hot all over and could no longer eat. I became scared and wondered if he had been infected. I feared for both our lives because I was in direct contact with him. My biggest worry was how he rejected even his favorite meals. The relish with which he consumed the meals I prepared was all gone. You can imagine my joy and satisfaction on his first day of recovery as I watched him eat like he used to. I don’t think I ever felt so happy seeing someone eat before.

Why Thank God?

It is difficult to see any need to thank God when you are overwhelmed with troubles. This is even the exact first reason for you to thank God.

  1. A grateful heart cannot be overwhelmed with depression.

In the midst of challenges, the only way to still appreciate God is to raise your head above the waters and focus on the good things that have happened. As you think about these good things, so many things happen.

  • Joy replaces your sadness
  • It brings a sense of hope and calmness to replace your anxieties
  • It spares you of mental health problems
  • You now have a reason to thank God

An attitude of gratitude brings you peace. Try it. 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 understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 Helen Keller puts it in a simpler form; “When you turn toward the sunshine, the shadows fall behind you.”

  1. You are alive

Being alive means you have another chance to achieve those things you haven’t yet. In order to have a grateful heart, you need to always remember that your existence is a gift from God to you. It’s not a right that you own. God offered you the privilege to stay alive, hence the opportunity to still make things right. If you think being alive is your right, then think about those that are dead; shouldn’t they sue God for denying them their right?

  1. Gratitude is God’s will for you

1 Thessalonians 5:18 – In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

God wants you to thank Him in every situation (even when it seems irrelevant to you) because He knows better.

We must not wait for God to show us the flip side of the coin before we learn to thank him for His great providences towards us on a daily basis. You feel hungry and can eat what you desire is enough for you to be happy; even if you are yet to get that desired meal. Thank God for the appetite. You are pressed and you aren’t afraid to go to the toilet to pass out waste. Be grateful. For every day you spend outside the hospital in good health, you should be grateful to God because it means you are not spending money to stay alive. Even when you are sick, thank God for providing people to take care of you. In every situation, if only you can just take a quiet time to think, there is always something to still be grateful for and that simple reason to thank God is your way out of depression.

How to be grateful

Stay your mind on the good things that have happened in your life.

A simple way to do this is to create a prayer journal. It is a record where you can write down all your prayer requests (big and small ones) and when each one is answered you just tick them out. I have one I opened at the beginning of the year and as the year unfolded, I added a few new requests and ticked them out as God granted answers. Today, as the year ends I read through and see all were not answered, some are still in progress while a good number of them have been answered. It is a great way to appreciate God, stay thankful and hopeful for the coming year as I prepare a new request list.

There is always something to thank God about. Wishing you a bountiful year ahead. Happy New Year.

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Related post: Overcoming Depression

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