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Blog-Pastor-Dave Gratefulness #2 – Taking Inventory

Gratefulness #2 – Taking Inventory

“There is nothing quite so stirring in the matter of moving us to pray as being thankful to God for what he has done for us and with us.”

This saying from E.F. Hallock tells us, especially when we don’t know what or how to pray, begin with thanks.

David began with a spiritual inventory in Psalm 103, saying in essence: “God is so good! He cancels the debt of my sin by forgiveness. He counters my diseases by healing. He exchanges my pit for a crown. He renews my life with good things.”

Forgiveness, healing, redemption, renewal. Lift up before God your own celebration of praise: Recalling your many answers of prayer. Remembering the good things God has done for you. Reminding yourself of how the Lord has used you.

Nancie Carmody took a unique approach: Paying taxes means you’re employed. Having clothes fit a little too snug means you have enough to eat. Doing household chores means you have a home. Finding a distant parking spot means you can walk. Paying heating bills means you are warm. Hearing the alarm go off in the morning means you’re alive. Feeling weary at the end of the day means you’ve been productive.

We can also express our gratefulness through the promises of God.

Even when I feel inadequate, I can lean upon Jesus: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).

Even when I lack, I can trust: “My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

Even when I struggle, I can be assured: “The LORD is the stronghold of my life” (Psalm 27:1).

Even when I am sick, I can believe: “He sent out his word and healed them” (Psalm 107:20).

Even when I face defeat, I can be confident: “God . . . always leads us . . . in Christ’s triumphal procession” (2 Corinthians 2:14).

We thank God in advance and express gratefulness afterwards.

William Law described his understanding of the greatest Christians in the world: It’s not those who pray the most or fast the most or give the most. It’s not those who are known for their discipline or purity or justice. It’s those who are always thankful to God, receive everything as an instance of God’s goodness, and have a heart always ready to praise God for it.

Think about what your own spiritual inventory would look like.

~ Pastor Dave


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