THANKING GOD FOR 2018: DO JOIN ME!
As we were wrapping up the service in church last Sunday, the pastor said we should write down 10 things the Lord has done for us this year. We shall wave the list in praise to God at the Annual Thanksgiving Service next Sunday. I have been doing this joyfully and I had a wonderful surprise.Let's list some blessings from 2018 and praise the Lord. Click To Tweet
The thing I cherish most the Lord has done for me is not the so-called big miracles and I did have those. For example, I was able to earn my Ph.D after years of abandoning the programme. The Lord set a fire under me and got me working to complete and defend my thesis.
He also helped me to revive another stagnated project and move it forward. He healed me repeatedly and gave me freedom in a financial matter.
(Related: So Much To Thank God For)
The Lord taught me so much from his Word this year. You see the beauty of running a faith and inspirational blog is that it moves me to dig deeper into God’s word. Many things I come across in my daily devotional reading of the Bible give me insight into God’s character, His love for us and our duties as Christians. Some of them I am prompted to study further for my personal development and for blog posts. Even after the posts have gone live, I am sometimes drawn to some of them according to my circumstances for encouragement and inspiration.Thank God for the spiritual insight and guidance you received this year. Click To Tweet
What I’m saying in effect is that I thank God for my blog, edithohaja.com (and for the smaller one, auntyedith.blogspot.com). The feedback I receive through email and social media messages is very heartwarming.
(Related: Seeing With Our Father’s Eyes)
Growth in Character
But the thing that struck me most that God did for me this year is that He made it easier for me to forgive and forgo offences from those subordinate to me. I’m not saying I have been harbouring an unforgiving spirit but that forgiveness is coming more easily, like second nature. I have been in situations where I’ve been badly disrespected this year. In the past, it hurt like deep knife cuts. I have often told my young friends that I cannot compromise on respect. Once you think we’re so chummy that you can take me for a ride, I’ll let you go. But the Lord keeps reminding me that “offences must come” (Luke 17:1). In addition, He has taught me more and more to give the offenders the benefit of the doubt and show them more understanding.
Young people don’t always think things through before saying or doing them. While we shouldn’t let them walk all over us, we shouldn’t be rash or heavy-handed in our response. It is a privilege to be used by God to support and mould young lives, be they our kids, employees, friends, students, work colleagues or acquaintances. We don’t want to throw away that privilege over some angry words or thoughtless actions on their part.
(Related: Grace and the Golden Rule)
Do you know that someone we’re supposed to be a part of their lives in the way I’ve explained can plot against us, threaten and embarrass us? It’s natural to be shocked and furious but we must hand the situation over to God. We must learn to think less of ourselves and more of what God wants to accomplish in our lives through this person and for them through us.
I long to be more and more like Christ.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” – Matthew 11:29 (ESV)
“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” – Luke 23:34
I wish I could wake up tomorrow and find that I’m perfect like Jesus is. But God doesn’t work that way. He puts us in trying situations, then He stretches us to expand our capacity to cope with all manner of difficulties and temptations.
“2. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3. Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” – James 1:2-4Praise God for making you to be more like Christ. Click To Tweet
This, for me, is what makes the Christian walk exciting, that we can see ourselves being slowly transformed to reflect the Lord better.
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” – 2 Corinthians 3:18
It’s true I still have a long way to go; don’t even start me on that! But little steps like the one I’ve shared mean a lot to me because they go against the grain of the natural man and that is not who we are anymore as 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 2 Corinthians 5:17 and the scriptures below remind us.
“15. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” – 1 John 2:15-17
(Related: Thank You, Lord! – Poem)
Hope for Nigeria
On a broader note, I want to thank God that in the past two months we have received renewed hope that Nigeria could soon be rescued from the draconian and retrogressive rulership the country has been subject to for three and half years. I am passionate about my country and her progress because therein lies the welfare and prosperity of her people, myself included. I am also eager to see Nigeria play the salient roles that have been prophesied for her in God’s endtime agenda, particularly in bringing the gospel to the nations. We have begun to see this in what has been termed reverse missionary activity by some of our churches and I believe we need peace and prosperity here to add impetus to that work.
The emergence of former vice-president, Atiku Abubakar, as the candidate of the main opposition party, PDP, in next year’s general elections and his choice of ex-governor, Peter Obi, has lifted many of our people out of resignation into optimism. The way their names have rent the air is seen by many as a supernatural sign of good things to come. Atiku’s business sagacity and Obi’s economic prudence have been adjudged as the combo that can dislodge the ruling APC from power and bring Nigeria out of the doldrums. We are still praying for peaceful, free and fair elections but at least we know we have a fighting chance in the contest now.
(Related: #Atikulate: An Idea Whose Time Has Come)
Join me to give thanks!
Well, I could go on and on recounting the things that the Lord did for me in 2018 but I want to stop here and invite you to join me and share some blessings you received this year. As the popular song says, “Count your blessings, name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”
The scriptures used in this post are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible except where otherwise stated.
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