This month in UK is the month of Harvest Thanksgiving and Remembrance Day Parades, when we remember those who have fought and died to protect us. For the USA, this month is synonymous with Thanksgiving, but in actual fact remembering causes us to be thankful.

I talked with my aged grandmother today and asked her how she was and she answered simply, 'I have a lot to be thankful for.' When I think back over her life and how as a young mother of four she lost her husband and eldest son to tuberculosis. This was of course before the second world war, so there was nothing for it but to struggle on to provide for the family. Eventually remarrying and having another little girl, her new husband was killed in battle, leaving her once again with four young children to bring up alone. I am sure the fact that she is almost 100 years old and pretty fit for her age, is due, at least in part, to the fact that she has a thankful heart for how the Lord has guided and helped her through great sorrow as well as joy.

As we think back over our lives, all the times God has provided and guided, comforted us or given us great joy, we can”t help but be thankful for all He has done. In retrospect we can look over the troubled times, the difficult and painful times and be thankful, since we already know the outcome and how He carried us through. Even after Jesus performed bread-multiplying miracles by feeding 5,000 women and children (not to mention the men), healed people before their eyes, turned water into wine, still his disciples, having witnessed all of that, worried about empty pantries. Jesus rebuked them: “Do you not yet perceive or understand? Is your heart still hardened ‚Ķ‚Ķ.and do you not remember?” Mark 8:17.

Short memories harden the heart. Let us take careful note of God's blessings and be able to say with David: “I will hope continually. I will praise you more and more, my mouth shall tell of your Righteousness and your Salvation all the day. ‚Ķ.I will go in the strength of the Lord God. O God you have taught me from my youth and I will declare your strength to this generation” Psalm 71:14-18.

Recent research shows that grateful people report higher levels of positive emotion, are more satisfied with life, and have more energy. They also found being thankful lowers levels of depression and stress.¬†Furthermore, those who write down what they are thankful for and daily count their blessings, are more likely to do regular exercise and report fewer physical symptoms while being more enthusiastic, alert, and consequent. Doesn”t that sound good? We could all do with that kind of lifestyle! But I don”t think we should be surprised as the Bible tells “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

He has fed you, led you, guided, provided, and shown Himself trustworthy to continue to do so. ¬†Meditate on memories and it will make your heart thankful. If you know him you can remember his gift of Salvation and tell others about it. If you don”t know Him, be thankful He has given you another opportunity. Ask Him into your heart and life, to forgive your sin and make you His child. You will then have much more to remember to thank Him for!


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