Joy in the Morning, Afternoon, and Evening

I awaken around 5 am every morning and give God a big hug of gratitude by thanking Him for new mercies. As my challenges increase throughout the day, I plead for His strength to enable me to have victorious outcomes. Finally, as the sun rests and the moon emerges, from tired lips, I offer God my song of praise. I love you Lord. Please protect us while we sleep. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

©2021 Sonya Johnson

The Decision to Choose Gratitude

This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

Have you ever given someone a gift that you were excited about? You paid attention to their likes and preferences, purchased the perfect gift, and waited for the right time. Although there are two possible outcomes: excitement and genuine gratitude or the unthinkable–lack of appreciation and gratitude, the giver would never expect a negative response from the receiver. Because the giver is overjoyed, the natural expectation is that the receiver will respond in the same manner.

But things did not turn out as expected. The giver was the only person who was excited about the gift. So let’s look at the disappointing response of ingratitude from a spiritual perspective.

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of lights [the Creator and Sustainer of the heavens], in whom there is no variation [no rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [for He is perfect and never changes]. James 1:17 Amplified version

God is the Giver, and we are the Receivers.

Every day we receive spiritual gifts:

    1. An over-abundance of God’s love, grace, and mercy along with our tangible blessings.
    2. Jesus, our Savior, died for us that we may be forgiven of our sins, and He serves as our Heavenly Intercessor [presenting us as forgiven] to God, the Father.
    3. The Holy Spirit, our Teacher, Comforter, reveals God’s thoughts and guides believers into all truth.
    4. The messenger and guardian angels who serve God and humanity without fail protect us from spiritual warfare and physical danger. 

There is nothing new under the sun. Humanity has an ongoing history of possessing the character trait of ingratitude toward God.

One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you. Luke 17:15-19

It is me, and it is you who are the recipients of God’s gifts that we often take for granted. There are times when we may mumble a half-hearted prayer of thanksgiving, or we breathe a sigh of relief and a quick “Thank you, God” when we are saved from physical danger. Unfortunately, many of us take our blessings for granted. 

Honestly, if the receiver of my heartfelt gift displayed ingratitude, the probability of me giving another gift to the person would be slim to none. Yes, I would be hurt and disappointed. Even so, as I reflect on my life, I am the ungrateful child of God who gladly receives His perfect gifts every day. Still, with all of my inconsistencies, God reminds me that He will never change: “Because I, the LORD, do not change, you descendants of Jacob have not been destroyed.” Malachi 3:6

Not only were we created in the physical image of God, but we also can love, forgive, express gratitude, possess happiness, have inner joy, and perfect peace. “The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3

Believers in the Most-High God, we can easily change by renewing our covenant with God. With intent, we can thank and praise God right now for His never-failing promises. It is the certainty of God’s promises that give us peace and hope. We can humbly and confidently approach God in faith. Our ability to use our voices to speak and sing praises of thanksgiving deepens our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Psalm 107:1

Bible Reading: Psalm 107

God, we ask for forgiveness for not praising you with our words and songs of thanksgiving. Hear our prayer, Lord. Create in us a clean heart, and renew a humble spirit within us. Lord, we thank you for all the blessings that you have given to us because you love us unconditionally. God, restore our desire to love and serve you with our hearts, souls, and minds. We ask this prayer in the Worthy name of Jesus. Amen. 

© Sonya Johnson 2021