Our Gifts to God

In prayer we usually request things from our Heavenly Father, and then we thank Him for His answers. If we took a few minutes to ponder all that He has done for us, we could probably list many unexpected gifts that He has given us. Perhaps He supplied the finances for a particular need even before we prayed, or He healed us when we really did not expect it. Maybe the weather suddenly changed for the better just when we needed to take a trip, or we ran into long-lost friends who shared words of encouragement with us.

King David reminds us, "Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits--who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed... He does not treat us as our sins deserve ... For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him" (Psalm 103:2-6,10,11, NIV).

We recognize that God gives us good gifts, but do we realize that we can also give gifts back to Him? Consider the following list:

Obedience

when Satan's playground is more inviting than God's school of wisdom

Forgiveness

when someone has wronged us or treated us unjustly

Surrender

to God when we really want to control our own lives

Kindness

when we would rather not bother with someone else's problem

Courtesy

when someone treats us rudely or unkindly

Patience

when we face delays, challenges, and failures

Teachability

when we are convinced our way is the only right one

Respect

when someone is dismissive, indifferent, or uncaring

Mercy

when someone does not deserve it

Diligence

in reading God's Word when we see no immediate benefit from it

Honesty

in applying His Word to our lives

Generosity

when we would rather keep what we have or get even more

Willingness

to keep a good attitude when failure seems certain

Integrity

when we are tempted to take a shortcut and we think that no one will find out

Endurance

when we see no sign that we are making a difference

Humility

when we reach a goal or we outshine those around us

Self-control

when we feel like running amok

Joy

when we see only despair and darkness

Gentleness

when someone has treated us callously or harshly

Compassion

for another person's pain when it seems so much less than ours

Tolerance

when we find someone irritating or unpleasant

Restraint

when we would really like to tell someone off

Persistence

in prayer when our situation keeps getting worse

Faith

when we feel that God has abandoned us

Acceptance

when God says, "Absolutely no," to our request

Gratitude

when God saves us from our wisdom and our plans

© by Nancy A. Stevens