We had a great encouragement in our chapel service at Ridley today from Peter Brain, former Bishop of Armidale and author of the book Going the Distance, about how we need to be thankful in order to be joyful which is both the way to live the Christian life, and the antidote to the pessimism and much of the depression (situational rather than clinical I suspect) that can cloud around us in ministry or simply in life in general.

I was convicted of my lack of thankfulness recently so thought I would list just some of the things I am personally thankful to God for (these are in no particular order, nor is it a complete list!):

  • I am thankful to God for the provision of a Godly wife who spurs me on to greater Godliness and lovingly helps me be a better follower of Jesus, a better husband, and an all round better person.
  • I'm thankful to God for the way she works hard to support my theological study and is willing to make sacrifices personally so we can work and be part of what God is doing in His world.
  • I'm thankful for the great privilege it is to be able to spend a year studying full-time at Theological College without the distractions of work or other things.
  • I'm thankful for all that I've learnt about myself in the last few years that have made me a wiser, slightly less sinful Christ follower.
  • I'm thankful for the chance to worship God with His people at our new church home Plentylife and for the friendships we've made there
  • I'm thankful that each day God gives me the grace of a new day, with new experiences, new challenges, and new adventures.
  • I'm thankful that God is in control of my future and he will always look after me and my family
  • I'm thankful for good relationships with my family and in-laws.
There is so much to be thankful about!  I live in a world that wants me to complain and to criticise.  But God want's me to live a counter-cultural life.  If we chose to take off the glasses that make us see everything as negative or neutral and instead chose to put on the glasess of thankfulness, then not only do we become happier, more content people... we also become more obedient gospel people who will shine like lights.

So what are you thankful for?