Praise the Lord, my soul! Praise his holy name, all that is within me. Praise the Lord, my soul, and never forget all the good he has done. [Psalm 103:1-2 (GW)]

Keukenhof Gardens - netherlandsThe Bible is filled with evidence of God’s gifts and the great (and miraculous) things He did for His people. Daniel emerges unscathed from a lion’s den, David defeats Goliath and the shepherd boy becomes a king, wisdom and riches are given to Solomon, and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego aren’t even scorched from a fire. Water is parted more than once, the walls of Jericho collapse, and jail doors miraculously open. Armies are led to victory, manna falls from heaven, fish and bread multiply, the barren give birth, the sick and lame are healed, and the dead rise. The Bible is full of marvelous accounts of miracles, majesty, and triumphs.

While probably less noteworthy, God’s hand has been as present in our lives as it was for David, Moses, the Apostles and everyone else in the Bible’s Hall of Faith. It wasn’t the Red Sea, but He’s kept us from drowning in the deep waters of life and, while it wasn’t a fortified city, walls that blocked our way have tumbled down more than once. Although it wasn’t Pharaoh’s army or the Philistines, He’s given us victory over some formidable foes. Instead of a fiery furnace, He’s gotten us out of hot water many times and, while they probably weren’t lions, He’s saved us from plenty of perilous situations. We may not have the enormous wealth or wisdom of Solomon, but God has given us more than enough of both.

We’ve emerged unharmed when we should have been hurt, been nourished when hungry, been loved and comforted in our anguish, and been helped when we lost all hope. We’ve been freed from the chains of sin and the prison of despair; He gave us a new life and the Holy Spirit! Let us never forget that God didn’t stop working in people’s lives when the last words in Revelation were penned. Our stories may not be as exciting and astonishing as those in the Bible; nevertheless, they are every bit as wonderful and worthy of thanks and praise. The Psalmist tells us to never forget all the good things God has done. As the year winds down, let’s be sure to count our many blessings. Praise the Lord, oh my soul!

Count your blessings instead of your crosses.
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes.
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears.
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean.
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth.
Count on God instead of yourself. [Author unknown]

Stand up, and thank the Lord your God: From everlasting to everlasting your glorious name is praised and lifted high above all blessing and praise. You alone are the Lord. You made heaven, the highest heaven, with all its armies. You made the earth and everything on it, the seas and everything in them. You give life to them all, and the armies of heaven worship you. [Nehemiah 9:5b-6 (GW)]

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