Welcome back to the blog Family!
This blog post is to encourage anyone who may be feeling like nothing good is happening right now in their life. You may feel like everything is going wrong. Your thoughts may even be telling you that things can only get worse. But that is a big lie and I come to encourage you today, better times are coming. But most importantly this blog post is to prompt you to remember the good times. Sometimes when we are in dark seasons we forget the good times. In fact, sometimes the dark seasons blind us to some of the good things that are still happening around us and to us. I always like to tell people that there is always something to be grateful for, even if that is just the breathe of life. So many people have cancelled 2020 and although there are less than 3 months left (wow this year has flown by), and yes although this year has been something, this year is not cancelled!
Remember the good times...
"I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all your work, And talk of your deeds." - Psalm 77:11-12
The great psalmist David realised the importance of gratitude. In fact, he realised how important it is to remember what God has done for you in the past. He had a different type of confidence, GODFIDENCE. He was so confident that God who started the work would surely finish it. After all, He took the Israelites out of bondage, out of slavery so why would he now just leave them to suffer. You may be able to relate to this. Maybe you were in some sort of problem which you are now out of, but things are still not easy. You are out of the bondage but yet the wilderness may feel like bondage in itself. These are the times where that gratitude really needs to kick in. These are the times where you need to remind yourself that God has taken you out of some serious entanglements. The God who did these good things in the past can also do great things in your life again.
I just want you guys to go down memory lane for a moment. The times when you laughed, the times when you smiled, the times when you made new memories and experiences. If you are at a place where you are struggling to be grateful in this season remembering the good things God has done in the past can really stand as encouragement for your tomorrow. I know that God would not have brought you this far just to leave you. It just wouldn't make sense. Just look at how far you have come. You may not be where you want to be but things could have been much worse.
I thought I would share a few practical tips that may help you in your journey to becoming more grateful. Here we go:
1. Looking at old photos. Looking at old photos on your phone can really remind you of some of the good times. I remember towards the end of last year I decided to go through all of my photos from 2019. I didn't realise how much of a good time I actually had and how many things I achieved. It took me going down memory lane to actually remember. Previous to this I had thought 2019 was such a crap year, but after looking at the photos I realised how many amazing memories I had created, how many things I had experienced, and how many times I laughed. It really did make me smile and feel more grateful.
2. Reading the Word of God. I know that this may be "cliche" but it really does make you feel grateful and renews your mind at the same time which is key when you are not feeling grateful. Even reading some of the biblical accounts can really build your faith. If God came through for Hannah, Daniel, Joseph and so many others, why would He not come through for you? Seeing their testimony and even reading the testimonies of others can really give hope to you that your testimony will also come. And as you read, also write down some of the things that you are grateful for.
3. Music! There is definitely something about music that helps you to remain grateful. Not all types of music of course. I like to listen to gospel music which I can say has definitely helped me in times when I am not feeling entirely grateful.
A few recommended gospel songs are:
- Tope Alabi - Nigbati mo ro (for my yoruba music lovers)
Now these songs may not be your vybe per se but find what works for you, with good judgment and discretion of course, and I really hope that it encourages you to be more grateful. And while you are listening to these songs (probably not the ones above, maybe more fast beat songs) dance, dance and dance some more. It can really take your mind off some of the things you are going through. Please feel free to share a few of the songs on your playlist in the comments section below or some of the things that you do to stay grateful.
Now remember, being grateful does not mean you will always "feel" grateful or "feel" joy. I mean, when you are going through things you're not exactly going to feel joy in the situation, but there is a different type of joy that only God can give. Where even though you may not like the situation you are going through you are able to remain grateful.
One thing that we see the Israelites doing in the wilderness a lot is complaining. Grumbling, mumbling and complaining. But what use does this have when it does not change the situation that you may be in, in fact most times it may prolong it. So instead of complaining, practice gratitude. Gratitude can cause a huge shift in your perspective!
The man at the gate called beautiful
"Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you; In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk."
Some of you guys may be familiar with this biblical account, some of you may not. A little bit of a quick background. There was a man who was lame from his mother's womb (literally this was all he knew). Every single day this guy was carried and put at the gate of the temple (known as the gate of beautiful) so he could beg for money from people as they entered the temple. Guys, really swallow what I am about to say. This man was at a gate that was called Beautiful yet his circumstances did not seem that way. Everyone has that thing that they put their hope in. This man perhaps put his hope in the fact that he was sitting by the beautiful gate, a place of healing, yet for many years he didn't receive his healing until he was healed in the name of Jesus Christ. What are you putting your hope in? Some people put their hope in themselves, some their friends or family, some in their church or Pastor. But all of these things may fail us. Put your hope in Christ!
And finally, this is to encourage those who feel like even when they look back there is nothing to be grateful for. As long as there is life there is hope. You may feel like you have been in a negative cycle for years, but there is still hope. Whenever you want to feel a little more grateful remember the man at the gate called beautiful. His situation was the same for more than 40 years (that is a long time!) but one day, one sweet day he was completely healed. Your life could honestly change in the space of one day. It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow. But while you wait remember the things God has done for you in the past which will give you hope. It will keep you going.
I hope this blog post has blessed and encouraged someone. Share with a friend as you do not know who else may need to hear this word. It has surely blessed me and I pray that it blesses you to. Continue to cultivate a heart of gratitude. Sometimes it takes time to do this as it takes a lot of intentionality to be grateful. And don't rely on your feelings. You may not always "feel" grateful but in these times you can always remind yourself of the good times, with hope of better times.
Prayer: I pray for any of you that may be going through tough times right now, that the Lord will give you strength to keep going, that you will not give up and that you will remember the good times which will give you hope for tomorrow.
For those who are not aware, we have a new