a feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive; the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
As we bring in the new year, let us acknowledge to God the benefits that we have already received from him. And even if we have experienced trials and difficulties in the past year, which may yet be unresolved, did this cause us to look up and seek God's help? Isn't that a blessing for which we can be grateful? The Scriptures remind us that people cannot come to Jesus unless the Father who sent him brings them to him (John 6:44). The very fact that we are still looking to God for rescue, is evidence that he is working out his plan in our lives!
God's children often pray, "God, mold me and make me after your will; help me to be like Jesus." Yet, one of the hallmarks of Jesus' life was suffering--he suffered on our behalf. So how can we truly be like him, unless we have suffered too?
Faith knows the power that his coming back to life gives and what it means to share in his suffering (Philippians 3:10).
God doesn't allow us to suffer just to experience it. God comforts us when we suffer, so when other people suffer, we are able to comfort them like God comforted us (2 Corinthians 1:4).
God promises his children: all things work together for the good of those who love God--to those whom he has called according to his plan (Romans 8:28). This verse reminds us that we can look forward to the new year with grateful hearts, trusting that God will continue working out his plan in our lives!
May it be our prayer to please God with grateful hearts--in all that we think, say, and do--and receive the abundance of Christ in eternal measure.
Happy New Year!
Copyright 2015 Sarah Keith