A Grateful, Happy Heart
Day 1: A Grateful, Happy Heart
"The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.” Psalm 28:7 NLT
Throughout Psalm 28, David makes bare the state of his heart. It was one filled with gratitude and full of happiness.
A thankful heart is a happy heart and one that, according to Psalm 100, eagerly prepares for the presence of its King, to experience even more joy and happiness. Verse 4 says “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and Bless His name" (NKJV).
In the words of Ethel Wasgatt Dennis: “A grateful heart is a garden, it is where there is always room. For everything lovely, and for God-like grace to come to perfect bloom” Isn’t that beautiful?
I would like the condition and landscape of my heart to be open; having enough room and a welcoming atmosphere for everything God has to blossom and bloom!
So what is the condition of your heart? Is it grateful or ungrateful? Is there room for God and all the beauty His presence brings, or is it closed up to Him?
To embrace a life of gratitude we must first open up our hearts to God. We must seek Him, asking Him to come into our hearts and anoint it with His spirit - of which the benefits are gratitude and praise. We must ask God to fill us with gratitude, so that throughout our days we will always remember to say 'Thank You' to Him regardless of the situation we might find ourselves in.
On that note, here is a challenge for you. Take a pen and paper and write down seven things you are thankful to God for. Then on each day this week, thank God for one of those things on your list. Be deliberate in your act of thanksgiving. If you are consistent, you will notice how being grateful helps you to focus your mind on God and keeps your mood positive.
Make a great day expressing your gratitude to the One who has given you life - and in abundance too! I pray that as you give thanks you will experience - like David - a happy, grateful and thankful heart.
Dear Lord, thank You for giving me life. Forgive me for any ungratefulness I might have shown towards You and all that You do for me. I invite You Lord into my heart today. Please anoint my heart with the power and presence of Your spirit. Make my heart a happy, thankful and grateful heart.
Help me to be thankful for all the big, small and seemingly insignificant things in my life. Help me to be thankful daily for I know being thankful draws me close to You and fills me with happiness too.
I pray that as my heart express gratitude and opens up to You, that You will lift burdens, destroy yokes and make Your Name glorious in my life.
I present my basket of thanksgiving and praise at Your feet and pray that it is acceptable and sweet smelling in Your presence.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Knowing God means Hope
"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done." Philippians 4:6 NLT
Philippians 4:6 gives us an insight into the essence of hope, which is when we ‘wish for something to happen and are expectant of its fulfilment’. When we express hope, our stance and mindset becomes positive. Our actions reflect what we are hoping to receive, and all our energy is geared towards the anticipation of its manifestation.
In our own strength it is difficult to maintain a constant stance of hope, especially when life presents us with difficult situations. However, there is One who can, and will (if we allow Him), empower us with an unshakable foundation of hope.
Knowing God, who He is and what He is capable of fuels hope in us like nothing else can or will. Believing completely and totally in Him and His abilities removes all worry, anxiety and uncertainty. All we need to do is build and maintain a thriving relationship with Him; through His word and in prayer (conversations with God).
Do you have hope? If so, what is the foundation of your hope? Get to know God and experience hope like never before. Today I challenge you to give thanks to God for the hope He gives you through His word and His promises to you.
Dear Lord, today I am thankful that my hope is in You. I am thankful because of your Word and promises towards me create an unshakable foundation of hope and faith for a better today and tomorrow. I am thankful because when the trials of life present itself unexpectedly, I can turn to You in prayer and for assurance.
In response, You take away all my worry and anxiety. You renew my confidence and the belief in the fulfilment of my expectations. You patiently and lovingly renew my hope in You, daily. For this I am grateful.
I place my basket of gratitude for giving me Hope at Your feet. I pray that it is acceptable in Your presence today.
In Jesus name, Amen
Lamp and Guide
Day 3: Lamp and Guide
“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105 NLT
A Satellite Navigation System (Sat Nav) is a computer-operated navigation system that uses signals from orbiting satellites and mapping data to pinpoint the user’s position and plot a subsequent course. In other words, a Sat Nav is used by drivers to find their way to a destination.
One of the amazing things about a Sat Nav is that if the driver makes a mistake when following its instructions, or simply gets lost; it will re-calculate the co-ordinates and redirect the driver back towards the right path and to their desired location.
As a Sat Nav is to a driver, so is the Bible to a Christian. The Bible, through examples of the lives of those who have lived before us, the life of Jesus and His messages, helps us to navigate our way through life today. It locates us wherever we are and maps out the coordinates of God’s will for us, leading us through the route He wants us to take and gets us to where we need to be.
The Bible is the roadmap given to Christians to enable us live the life God has already designed for us. The psalmist David puts it clearly when he says “…Your word [the Bible] is a lamp to guide our feet and a light for our path” (Psalm 119:50).
Where are you in life? Where have your coordinates been mapped out from and where is it taking you to? Why not pick up the Bible today and check to make sure that you are still on the right path and aligned in God’s will. It's great to know that whenever we are feeling unsure of where we are, or where we need to go, the Bible - God’s word and direction for us - is readily available. For this we should really be grateful.
Dear Lord, thank You for thinking about me and making the Bible, Your Word and directions for my life readily available.
I am thankful that whenever I feel lost or don’t know what to do or where to turn to next, that I can turn to Your Word.
Father, I am grateful that Your Word, through Your Holy Spirit, directs me daily as I navigate my way though the terrains of this life. I am thankful for its teaching, encouragement and direction, and for re-routing me when I have lost my way.
I place my basket of thanksgiving for the Bible, Your Word, my very own roadmap through life, at Your feet. I pray that it is sweet smelling and acceptable in Your presence today. In Jesus name, Amen
Day 4: The Restorer
“So I will restore to you…” Joel 2:25 NKJV
Restoration is defined as the re-establishment of someone or something to a former condition, place, or position. It is to take that thing or person back to its original state or condition.
God does not make a promise that He cannot keep. So when He says He will do something, He sticks to His word and does it.
Whatever life has taken away from you, God can and will restore it according to Joel 2:25, as He has promised. That has certainly been me and my husband’s experience this year. We have found that He may have not given us what we wanted, but He gave us what was best and what we needed for restoration.
How about you? What has your experience in restoration been? Have there been times when you thought restoration was no longer possible for you because you’ve wasted so many good opportunities or walked in various levels of disobedience? If so, do not fret; with repentance and reconnection to God, He will restore. His promises for restoration do not change even when we are not faithful to Him. His promises are forever ‘yes’ and ‘amen’.
So what are you waiting for? Get connected and get restored to who God has already created you to be. The fact that we have a God who does not take back His promises towards us is another great thing to be thankful for.
Dear Lord, today I am thankful for your faithfulness and promises to restore unto me everything that has been stolen by the enemy or lost by my own doing.
I thank You Father for meeting me where I am and helping me to get back on my feet. Thank You for restoring me spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially, financially and mentally. If it were not for your grace and mercy, I would most definitely be stuck in a desolate place.
I place my basket of thanksgiving for your promises to restore me to who You created me to be at Your feet. I pray that it is sweet smelling and acceptable in your presence today.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
The Great Provider
Day 5: The Great Provider
“For I will pour out water to quench your thirst..." Isaiah 44:3 NLT
During the time of Israel's journey through the wilderness, when God delivered them from Egypt, He provided for them. They never lacked anything. They didn't have to buy new clothes or shoes, they were never hungry nor thirsty. Their clothes grew with them and God provided food and shelter. Whatever they needed God simply provided. God demonstrated to the children of Israel that He IS – not WAS – the Great Provider. He knew what they needed and provided for them.
Just like God took care of the Israelites, God is still taking care of us today. He knows what we need before we even sense that we have a need. He provides and does it really well too! He is our maker and knows everything about us.
What is it that you are in need of and can’t seem to attain? What do you desire to achieve but cannot seem to make happen? There is One who knew you before you were born and knows everything about you - your wants and needs – and able to meet them all. Why not speak to God and tell Him what is on your heart? His hands are open and it is His desire to give you His best and look after you each and every day.
Doesn’t that sound like the makings of a Great Provider? Surely, that's a reason to give Him thanks, right?
Dear Lord, thank You for not just being the Great Provider, but being my provider.
I am glad that I can come to You for everything that I need; both the great and small.
I know that You will always provide for me and give me what I need, not just what I want, because You know me better than I know myself.
I thank You Lord because I have nothing to worry about, for You meet me at every point of my need.
You are capable and more than able, because after all "You own a thousand cattle on a thousand hills", and “all the world is yours and everything in it" (Psalm 50:10, 12 NLT).
I place my basket of thanksgiving for being my Great Provider at Your feet.
I pray that my gratitude is sweet smelling and acceptable in Your presence today.
In Jesus name, Amen.