God Uses People

January 5, 2022

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. Philippians 1:3-5 NLT

If you review your past year, many people’s names and faces come to mind. God does supernatural miracles, of course, but most of the time the way He blesses us is through people. That’s another characteristic of the people of God. They are primary sources of encouragement and blessing to one another.

This first week of the new year can get off to a terrific start if you take time to gratefully remember and acknowledge the people who particularly blessed you this year. Words of affirmation and appreciation are among the very best things we can give one another.

Here are four powerful phrases that can not only express your heart, but can start another person’s year off with joy and potential as well:

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” Proverbs 4:23 says that everything we do flows from our hearts. Our world’s widely diverse cultures agree that something said to be “from the bottom of our hearts” is sincere and deeply felt. Expressing gratitude in this way for the year’s kindnesses is meaningful.

“You have blessed me” or “God blessed me through you.” Maybe they shared something that was truly good news. But blessings aren’t all about good news. Maybe in a very difficult time of struggle they helped you realize or remember that you were loved and valued. Maybe they helped you hang on. Let them know how God used them.

“I am grateful for you.” Pausing to say you are grateful is helpful and healthy for you and the targets of your gratitude. We can assume they know we are grateful, and it is possible they do. But words make a memory, and the effects are long-lasting in your heart and theirs.

“Your support meant the world.” It can be easy to take the help, the love, and the support of others for granted. Thanking someone for their support not only feels good for them. Expressing thanks to loved ones and to God is an important way to show that you noticed their effort and you care. It’s what Jesus-followers do.

  • Who needs to hear from you this week? Use each of the above phrases in conversation with at least four people who have blessed you in 2021.