This post is part of the series His Encouragement
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Welcome! Welcome, dearest friends, to His Encouragement: Biblical Inspiration for Your Thursday. Every Thursday, a few blogging friends and I will each bring you a Bible passage and a little hope-filled discussion. We pray that these Thursday posts help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
— Psalm 100:4, ESV
I do not know about you, but I find it very hard to stay sad, discouraged, upset, apathetic, hurt or any other negative feeling when I am praising the Lord. There is something about the very act of giving thanks to God, even when it seems we have very little to be thankful for, that lifts my mood, eases my burdens, and floods me with peace.
It is not always easy to find things to be thankful for. Sometimes we may be in the midst of a great trial in our lives and all we can see is the storm swirling around us. I think of all of the people in California who have lost homes, pets, and even loved ones in the recent devastating wildfires. Many fled the flames with little more than the clothes on their backs and they lost all of their earthly possessions. In the face of such crippling loss, it can be hard to find hope and encouragement.
A few months ago, I lost my mom to cancer. Two days ago, we had to make the hard decision to put our beloved old dog to sleep. A few weeks ago, a dear friend of mine lost her mom suddenly. I have two different friends on opposite sides of the North American continent who have children battling for their very lives. A member of my church has not yet heard from relatives who live in Paradise, California, and she fears the worst. There seems to be lingering in the air lately a heaviness that is hard to explain.
Perhaps you are feeling it, too. Perhaps you are facing a trial of your own and, though you may long to, you are finding it near impossible to put Psalm 100:4 into practice in your own life. How can you be thankful for what is happening? How can you give praise when your heart is breaking? How can you bless His name when all you can do is cry?
If you would let me, I would like to share with you something that I found has helped me tremendously over the last month. Even when it is the very last thing I feel like doing, I intentionally spend time thinking of one blessing to be thankful for each day. Some blessings may be grand: life! family! Some blessings may be small: watching the birds outside the window, a hug from my toddler. No matter how “big” or how “small”, take a moment each day to write down your blessing. It can be in a private diary or journal or on your Facebook or Instagram, whatever you are comfortable with. Just so long as you do it.
With every passing day and acknowledged blessing, you will once again feel the peace of God in your heart and it will get easier to “give thanks to Him” and “bless His name”!
Need a little extra inspiration? I often find music helps put me into the right frame of mind. Listen to Psalm 100:4-5 put to song in this lovely version: “Enter Into His Gates”.
Be sure to also visit my fellow bloggers and read their encouragement for your Thursday as well:
- Trisha of Joy of Reading
- Nicole of The Christian Fiction Girl
- Jessica of A Baker’s Perspective
- Becca of The Becca Files
- Jenny Lynn
- Gina of Stories by Gina
- Rev. Rebecca Writes
Are you in the market for a new Bible?
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Continue reading this series:
His Encouragement: He had compassion on them