“It is good to give thanks to the Lord…”
The psalmist is right. That’s a simple statement, but it’s so appropriate and so true. It is good to give thanks to the Lord. And it is something I don’t do enough, and so this post is dedicated to that purpose.
I’m thankful to the Lord for:
–Jesus Christ, for making himself nothing; for living, dying, and rising from the dead, so that I might live.
–His grace. It is incredibly undeserved, but abundantly evident in my life.
–The Holy Spirit. I fail often, but through the Spirit I am able to grow and change and know God more.
–The Church. If I had to try and live like Christ on my own, I would fail miserably. God knew what he was doing when he created and commissioned the community of believers.
–Mercy Hill, my home church. Though we are far apart, I know they love and support me in many ways. They are a huge blessing.
–My pastor, Johnny Hamstra. Few people have had a greater impact on my life. For nearly a decade he’s been a source of constant challenge and encouragement, love and patience. He’s always told it to me straight, and I appreciate him for that. His desire to see God glorified and Christ magnified has helped me set my life’s compass in the right direction.
–Johnny’s wife, Michelle Hamstra. She’s loved me and welcomed me into her home many, many times; and she’s been unafraid to be real and honest about what she sees in me and where I need to change. Through her own life, she’s been an incredible source of encouragement and challenge.
–My family. Not only do they love me despite my faults, but more importantly they love Him, because He first loved them.
–My Dad. He is the best example I know of a servant leader, and a true picture of humility and wisdom.
–My Mom. She is a saint. She is a humble prayer warrior, incredibly hospitable, and a loving teacher. I would not be who I am today but for her prayers.
–My brother Dave. As I’ve seen him learning to trust God more and more, I’ve been spurred on to do the same.
–My brother-in-law, Mike. His love for God’s Word has challenged me, and his love for my sister is a true encouragement to me.
–My sister Sam. Without her, I would have been lost as a teenager. She’s helped keep me grounded and humble for years.
–My brother Adam. His heart for people is challenging and Christ-like, and his desire to serve the church is a beautiful thing to see.
–My sister Mary. Her sensitivity to the Lord and to people is something I desire to emulate with my own life.
–My brother Matt. In many ways he reminds me of myself at his age, but his love for the Lord is much more evident, and gives me great hopes for what God has planned for him.
–My brother Josh. Like my dad, he is a willing servant and a great blessing to those around him. He challenges me to be unselfish and consider other people’s needs before my own.
–My brother Paul. As the youngest boy, he has endured more than his fair share of torturing and teasing. In spite of that, his genuine enthusiasm and delight for life often reminds me to enjoy the little gifts of God in my own life.
–My baby sister, Faith. Frankly, her intelligence at her age scares me a little, but her love for God’s Word and her imagination are a constant source of joy and laughter. She is an astounding picture of child-like faith (no pun intended).
–My job. It’s not always the easiest, but having the opportunity to lead this team and be a part of God’s kingdom advancing throughout Europe is a privilege and a joy.
–His Sovereignty. It’s such a relief to know I can’t screw up his plan.
–His Omniscience and his Goodness. It’s such a relief to know that he knows all possible plans, and he has chosen the best possible one.
…there are innumerable other things I could mention. This is just a brief selection, but a genuine glimpse into my heart.
It is good to give thanks to the Lord.