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Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

If I were to map my journey with God, the line would be broken, dotted from one destination to the next. I wish it weren’t so, but my faith can be so fickle.

God, on the other hand, has always kept his word. Always.

I am fed, clothed, sheltered, and sent into the world with good news of great joy … A Savior. He never leaves, never forsakes (Hebrews 13:5).

And yet, like Israel in the wilderness, I am terribly forgetful. Even after the greatest of provisions, I have slumped into self-sufficiency or self-pity, either of which strangles the life out of gratitude.

What better safeguard as my story still unfolds than to persistently rehearse God’s enduring faithfulness with those who walk behind me? While telling of His glorious deeds, I am fortifying my hope and theirs. May our lifelines grow evermore unbroken.

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“What good is God if He doesn’t make our lives easier, more comfortable, less painful, more pleasurable, less unpredictable or more prosperous?” Great question if the best God can give us is an easy life.

But what if we need more than that? Far more.

What if our greatest affliction isn’t a lack of worldly extravagance? What if every human being takes his/her first breath as a spiritual orphan; fatherless and isolated from One whose image we all bear?

And what if our Creator, despite our dismal and defiant attempts at significance, security and satisfaction, sought us out and saved us from self-destruction? What if He graciously did for us what we could never do for ourselves, a costly rescue from a debt we could never repay?

And what if, through the sheer kindness of our Savior, we were given a seat at the Father’s table? What if we gained unhindered access to intimacy this world will never know in its ravenous quest for connection?

I suspect the world’s offerings would lose their luster. Our opinion of those who “gain the world and lose their soul” (Mark 8:36) would shift from envy to compassion. The prevailing posture of our heart would shift from discontent to gratitude and peace.

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What could be more fitting for God than praise?

He spoke all the universe into existence. He filled the earth with all that is living and all that would keep the living alive. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17)

“He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45) He showers common grace on those who receive Him and those who reject.

Would that all could see the blessed hand of the One who made us, the One who sustains us, the One who laid down His life so that all could have life, by grace through faith.

Gratitude for the goodness of our God is the wellspring of praise befitting the greatness of our God.Thank Him … Praise Him!

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How is my opinion of God altered in times of great suffering?

“Now there was a day” … when Job lost everything (Job 1-2:10); livestock, laborers, real estate, his health and all his children. His wife advised him, “Curse God and die.” (Job 2:9) I guess she assumed that life wasn’t worth living if it meant living with loss.

Job replied to his wife’s counsel with a sobering question we would all do well to ask, “Should we accept only good from God and not adversity?” (HCSB, Job 2:10)

I have to ask myself, are my acts of obedience currency I dole out to God in exchange for desirable conditions? Do I believe worship obligates Him to do my bidding? Is my love for God contingent upon acceptable circumstances? Or do I love Him simply because He first loved me, and that is unalterably true in the best and worst of times.

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I am unquestionably at my best when I cling tightly to my Savior.

Clinging isn’t just a state of mind. It is active, visceral, responsive and concrete.

It looks like integrity, trust, perseverance, submission, and gratitude. It’s intentional movement toward the righteous will of God. It means that my daily activities, ordinary and unusual are infused with a heart of shameless adoration for the One who animates my every act of obedience with His grace.

Even at my best, especially at my best, I need to humbly invite the Lord to “test my heart and my mind” so that I might not be blindsided by the residue of rebellion that lurks in my flesh.

Spiritual confidence and consistency is only had by those who keep their gaze fixed on the steadfast, sustaining love of Christ. Assurance is found in nothing else.

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