And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:20 NLT
Everything means everything.
Not always so easy to do.
The holidays can sometimes stir up difficult times for people — sad remembrances from days gone by, loved ones who are no longer alive, broken relationships, lack of finances, dreams unfulfilled — the list is endless.
And yet, the command is to be ‘thankful.’
I don’t know about you, Girlfriend, but whenever GOD continually puts something in front of my face, I receive it as a Learning Opportunity. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not always the sharp and perceptive one — sometimes His Whispers turn into hold-my-face-steady-with-His-Hands-so-I’ll-listen opportunities. Nonetheless, His gentle ‘nudging’ is call for attention.
Lately, The Lord has been ‘impressing’ upon me this thing we call gratitude. So that’s my cue to ‘harken to the sound of His Voice.’ I’m the kind of learner that wants to get it right so I don’t have to repeat the Lesson — get my drift?
Some of us may be sitting in a Season Of Disappointment. I say to you: ‘rise to your knees,’ and get moving. That was not a grammatical test to see if you were awake.
Get up off your self-pity cushion of comfort — and let your spirit be lifted as you position your heart beneath your knees in prayer — time for a moment of humility and thankfulness. Then let GOD take you by the trusting hand and let Him lead you.
Disappointments are ‘windows’ that open up to the Wonderous Works of GOD Almighty.
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NLT
Oh, if we will only take a split second to pause and look UP and away from our tiny world of woe, and focus on the BIGNESS of Our Creator Who holds it all in His Hand!
No, our troubles won’t instantly disappear — but our Faith will begin to grow and cause us to go …
Go forward and honor Him, praise Him, worship Him, and declare Him.
Being grateful extends beyond the mere mannerly ‘thank you’ of our vocabulary. Gratitude is behavior that originates from the heart and soul. So if our heart and soul are ‘right,’ our behaviors should mirror that.
Let’s look honestly into the mirror of life and examine what we see.
Is our life ‘reflective’ of genuine gratitude? Are we investing words of encouragement into the lives of others so that they, too, may be Blessed (even if we feel yucky)? Have we considered the enormous value that others have brought into our own lives and expressed a heartfelt ‘you mean so much to me?’
First to admit I fall short in this area — I stand head lowered and ashamed that I’ve not always done this myself. So for all of you who know me intimately, my deepest apologies; you know I genuinely love you!
This Christmas Season, will you accept the Challenge — to live outwardly — the Love of Christ — in sincere gratitude — to those who have contributed to your life; and then also pray for those who may have somehow landed in the ‘not-so-endearing’ side of your life? Remember our verse above, ‘give thanks for everything.’
I bid you a fabulous day, Girlfriend, and await to hear of how victorious and miraculous your life becomes as you join me in becoming authentically grateful.
I love you to Heaven and Back ~~