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.



Praying for Children Who Need Healing

For the past month, God has been whispering deep into my heart about stepping back and letting Him go before me. 

I've watched in awe, waiting to see what miracles He will perform next in the lives of those I encounter everyday. 

But I've also had to pray - often. You see, it's hard when you are wanting so much to share a book about growing closer to God and learning more about Him, but you feel like you are screaming, "Look at my book!"

Every Christian author's dilemma is balancing how to tell others about her book without drawing the attention to herself. So today, I'm going in a different direction.

The book officially releases next Tuesday, but something sits as a heavy weight on my heart. In spending more time than usual on social media to share about the Over It book, I've seen several parents asking for prayer for their children in the hospital. Yes, you read that right. Several.

From infants, to school-age kids, to young adults. They need prayer. They need healing. So I'd like to ask you if you would agree to pray for these. God knows the names and the situations. Would you just commit to pray for children in the hospital today? And for their parents?

Photo courtesy of Garrett Brown

Photo courtesy of Garrett Brown

Only those who've been there know the agony they're going through. I've been in that uncertain place, and maybe you have too. Even believers struggle to hold onto faith when we see our child lying in a hospital bed.

I want to stand in the gap for them today. I want to pray on their behalf, because they may not have the strength.We can talk about the book and other things later. Will you join me?

Dear Merciful Father,
Thank you for being a miracle-working God. Thank you for your many blessings in my life. Lord, I ask today that you would wrap your loving arms around the children who are physically sick and hurting today. I pray above all for healing, and that you would strengthen their little bodies. I ask also that you would bring comfort to the parents and families as only You can. Will you give them wisdom during those times when medical decisions must be made? Those are the hardest of all. And finally Lord, will you give them peace in knowing you are there with them, even when they feel tired and worn out? I give you all glory and honor today for being above all things and in all situations. Thank you, Lord.