4 Circumstances When It’s Important to Thank God

“Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.” Psalm 107:31 NIV

May I ask a personal question? What were you thinking about right before you clicked to read this?

Was it the ever-growing list of things that must get done today? How about the endless run of inspirational quotes showing up in your newsfeed that you can’t seem to stop scrolling through? Or maybe your thoughts hovered over a bigger problem, something that’s causing you to lose precious sleep?

I’d like to say I was thinking about something really profound and maybe even amazing, but I wasn’t. I was thinking about a nagging, aching pain.

Not the heart-hurt kind of pain. I know we all have that sometimes too, but I was thinking about physical pain.

My body is currently in recovery-mode after some recent treatments. I’m regaining my strength, but certain things still hurt. And I’ve discovered that physical pain can take control of my thoughts, if I let it.

I know the power of thanking God continually when my thoughts wander to my circumstances. He is worthy of my thanks. But honestly, there are times when showing gratitude is harder than others, like when I’m hurting and ibuprofen isn’t going to help.

When pain or other hard things threaten to hold our thoughts hostage, Psalm 107 offers a life-giving antidote unlike anything this world can offer. In this chapter, the psalmist shows us 4 circumstances when it’s important for us to thank God. (Click this link to read Psalm 107.)

In the Wilderness

The psalmist tells four stories about God working a miracle for His people. The first one begins with a reference to the children of Israel, wanderers without a place to settle (Psalm 107:4). In the midst of desperation, God responded to their cries for help. He guided them to a place where they would find everything they needed. When we face an uncertain future and don’t see a way out, God will answer. We serve a God who “smooths out the path ahead” of us (Isaiah 26:7).

In Bondage of Sin

Being held captive is quite different than wandering in unknown territory. But regardless of our circumstances, God is able to do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20). God’s people called to Him, and He delivered the prisoners from captivity (Psalm 107:13).

Suffering in Sickness

Even when sickness affects our bodies and makes us feel like there’s no end to the suffering, God is with us to offer healing and comfort. When His people cried out, He healed those with afflictions (Psalm 107:20). The strongest chains and deepest wounds are no match for God’s great love.

In the Storm

Maybe your battle isn’t in the desert, in chains, or with sickness today. Maybe a storm rages around you, and you’ve been knocked down by wave after wave of bad news. You may not feel thankful right now, but we can’t let the storm of today cloud our memories of His mercy. In the fourth description, God “stilled the storm” and brought calm when things grew out of control.

Each painful situation described in this Psalm ends with a call for us to thank the Lord for His wonderful deeds and unfailing love. God is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23), and thanking Him for all He has done brings hope in the most difficult times of life.

His love never fails, and His deeds are wonderful.



3 Obstacles That Can Show Up When You Want More of God

I love watching the variety of birds that come to feed just outside my back window. The different colors, sizes, and sounds they make remind me of the complexity of our God and all His wonders.

Most of the birds are average to small in size, but there is one exception. A majestic blue jay lives nearby. This frequent visitor is huge compared to the others. When he shows up, the strangest thing happens. As he sits proudly on top of the pole guarding the prized food, all the others perch on branches a safe distance away. Watching.

It’s as if that blue jay stands between them and what they most long for. And they won’t even attempt to get closer until he leaves.

Sometimes I can be like those birds in my spiritual life.

I long to draw closer to God, learn more about Him and hear His Voice, but I let obstacles of this world stand in my way. When things come up that demand my attention, I forget all about my desire to deepen my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I let them intimidate me and block me from getting what I most long for.

If you have the desire to deepen your relationship with God too, then you may feel the same way. Below are three things I’ve discovered that show up when I want more of God. By identifying these obstacles, we won’t be surprised or intimidated when they arrive. Instead, we can move forward claiming more of God in our lives.


Holding onto unforgiveness builds a wall between us and the One who so generously forgave us. We didn’t deserve such sacrifice, but that didn’t matter. God’s love covered all our sin, and He willingly gave His precious son to ensure eternal life for you and me.

With such a powerful example of forgiveness, we too can find the strength to forgive, even when it’s undeserved. If you are struggling to forgive someone today, start with this prayer. May it open your heart to the possibilities forgiveness offers.

Daily Distractions

I recently discovered a valuable resource for distracted women who desire more of God in their lives. My friend Betsy just released her book, More of God: A Distracted Woman’s Guide to More Meaningful Quiet Times. This book is packed full of helpful ideas for overcoming the distractions that seems to pop up right when we’re trying to pray!

While reading it I was encouraged to make small steps forward instead of condemning myself for doing something wrong. Betsy reminds us, “God is pleased by even the smallest steps we make towards Him.” Amen!


God could never use someone like me. I’m just wasting my time. Other women are much more qualified and talented.

Sound familiar? If doubt is a struggle for you like it is for me, meditate on this verse. You are precious, wonderful, and worthy of God’s love.

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 ESV

Whatever obstacle stands in your way today, let’s make the choice not to be intimidated. When we draw closer to God, He will draw closer to us. Let’s remember the truth of His Words above.

Nothing can separate us from Him.



For more information about the More of God book, click the image to visit the book page.