Giving thanks and praise to our Father in Heaven is "like sweet incense and lifting of my hands like the evening offering." Psalm 141:2
I heard someone say that we are to give thanks to the Lord for all of the things we want to wake up to in the morning. That certainly made my bedtime prayer and praise list a lot longer. I thought of things that would not have made my typical prayer list; I now give thanks for every detail of my life because I couldn't imagine not waking up to those things that keep me going every day.
The very top of my list of thankfulness is for each person God brings into my life, especially my children, and my precious granddaughter. I am thankful for the air that I breathe, my lungs that accept my breath and expel it to fuel my body, my good health, the food I receive daily, the amazing job I have, the beauty around me, and my gracious husband who encourages me to "love the Lord my God with all of my heart, mind, soul and body each and every day." Matt 22:37
How could I want for more? And yet I do, I want more, and my Father in Heaven wants to give me more, but He knows that more of what I want may not be best for me. I question myself, does my desire align with scripture, or does my flesh demand things that I have no business acquiring? The International Standard Bible says, "The desire of the righteous is to seek good, but the hope of the wicked results in wrath." Proverbs 11:23
I know that my desires are not always good, I'm often distracted by the things of this world. The hope of the wicked results in wrath as the scripture above indicates, our flesh is wicked and it wants things that are not good and not right for us as children of the living Christ. The wrath of our heavenly Father isn't against us but instead, it is against the evil that surrounds us, that entices us and encourages us to sin.
All good things come from our Father in Heaven, James 1:17 tells us that "every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." By ourselves, "we can do nothing apart from God". John 15:5 The job we have didn't come from our intellect, we received it from God. Just like the family we have, didn't happen by chance, each and every member was a gift from God. He freely gives to us, we can freely give to others because we know that God supplies us with all that we need, not necessarily all that we want. His Word tells us, "we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us." 1 Corinthians 2:12
If any of us is lacking wisdom, God offers pure wisdom to discern what is good and what is evil, all we have to do is ask for it. James 1:5 tells us that God will "give it to us generously without finding fault". We are called to ask God for wisdom in humility, peacefully and faithfully.
If you want to have a close relationship with God, it is important to thank Him for all of the blessings you receive. One of my favorite stories of the Bible is when Jesus healed the lepers on his way to Jerusalem, 11"Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 "As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" Jesus cleansed each of them of leprosy and asked them to 14 "go show themselves to the priests. And, as they went, they were cleansed." Luke 17:11-14
The part of the story I love the most is when 15 "one of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him--and he was a Samaritan." Luke 17:15-16
God, thank you for all that you provide and please forgive me when I do not turn back to thank you for all of the blessings you bestow on me each and every day. You alone deserve my thanks and praise!
"Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure."