Thanksgiving is right around the corner. In my experience, one of the greatest tools for giving thanks is to remember.
I remember a season when ministry was, quite frankly, not going well at all. Criticism was coming from every direction, and Steve and I were tired... I mean dead tired. Honestly, we were ready to quit! One morning, we received an email from our son J.J., who was in college out of state.
J.J., knowing we were struggling, wrote, "Dad, don't forget the miracles of the past. God's used you before, and He will even now." That short email reminded me of Asaph's choice: "I will remember the works of the Lord" (Ps. 77:11a).
During a dark season of doubt, Asaph made the pivotal choice to remember how God's goodness had sustained him in the past; that choice to remember transformed Asaph's attitude and gave him sustaining hope. You and I can follow Asaph's example and choose the discipline of remembering:
Remember the Times God Gave You Songs in the Night.
"May I remember my song in the night" (Ps. 77:6a).
Think back over the past year and remember the times when you couldn't sleep—whether because of a toddler's fever, worry over finances or fear over a dreaded disease—and God unexpectedly showed up and sustained you. Maybe your mind went to songs of His faithfulness. Pause and give God thanks for sustaining you and supporting you during those long nights. Remember, He didn't leave you in the dark. He brought hope with the morning light.
Remember the Miracles of the Past Year.
"I will remember the works of the Lord" (Ps. 77:11).
Maybe your miracle came in the form of money to pay a debt you never thought you'd be able to pay. Or maybe your miracle came in the form of a healed relationship that you feared would never be reconciled. Or maybe your miracle came in the form of a child who was healed when a fever was raging. Remember these miracles and thank God. Praise Him that when hope feels lost, He is always working! Thank Him for the miracles He is working on your behalf.
Remember the Times When He Parted the Waters
"Your way is through the sea, and Your path in the great waters, and Your footsteps are not seen" (Ps. 77:19).
This past year, I felt in my heart that I was supposed to record a video series for my Bible study, Who Do You Say That I Am? I spent many nights praying about this, but it looked like it was going to be impossible, in part because of my schedule and in part because of how expensive it was going to be. God parted the waters in the most magnificent way! He provided for me to record all eight sessions over the period of two weekends at a women's conference where I was already scheduled to speak. And He provided an amazing videographer who was willing to work with Moody Publishers. As I look back and remember, I am filled with thanksgiving and praise to my God.
Friend, if you feel low on gratefulness, try remembering. Remember the goodness of the Lord. Make a list of all the ways you saw God work over the past year and watch how your spirits rise!
Becky Harling, an author, certified speaker, leadership coach and trainer with the John Maxwell Team, is an energetic and motivational international speaker inspiring audiences to overcome their greatest life challenges and reach their full God-given potential. Her most recent book is How to Listen So People Will Talk. Her husband, Steve Harling, is the president of Reach Beyond, a nonprofit organization seeking to be the voice and hands of Jesus around the world.
This article originally appeared at beckyharling.com.
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