Thursday, April 3, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Going Deeper

One positive thing about Thankful Thursday is that inevitably, it will fall on a really bad day more than once. On the hardest of days how can we come up with genuine gratitude, when all we really want is to fall into bed as quickly as possible, forgetting the day ever happened?

But this gratitude's a command. Before we fall into bed, we must utter it in our minds or with our lips. Thank you for...even if it's just hot cocoa. Thank you for hot cocoa after the kids go to me, Lord. I need you.

Dealing with mental illness in this family, sometimes all we can do when we sit down to pray is say....Help!

And God understands that utterance of our hearts. He knows the depths of despair we're in...and he knows the outcome.

Much of human angst has to do with not knowing the outcome. The Lord's aim is not always to take away the source of our pain, but to provide the grace to walk through it each hour, faith-full, knowing that He is the same mighty, gracious God, who works all things for our good.

When I think of deep, genuine gratitude and the command to feel it, I consider where my eyes are resting. Are they resting on my predicament, or on my Almighty, Holy God? On the best of Thankful Thursdays, God is faithful, steadfast, mighty. On the worst of Thankful Thursdays, God is faithful, steadfast, mighty.

My circumstances may change, but God doesn't. Therefore, gratitude should not be based so much on what we have, but on who He is. My gratitude song here in American should be similar to that of my sponsor child Sheila's in Uganda, who has nothing in comparison.

She has the Lord. I have the Lord. The Lord is the same mighty, gracious God to both of us, everyday, regardless of our circumstances. He works all things for our good and his vision is perfect, whereas ours is cloudy at best.

I want to feel good now, and He is thinking of my eternal inheritance. I want the pain to end now, and he wants the pain to point others, and myself, to Him, during the small amount of time I have here as a pilgrim passing through.

So when we read in the Bible that we must be thankful, it's fine to think of the hot cocoa, except that tomorrow it might be gone for good, and then what? What else should I be thankful for, other than the everyday blessings?

Know what you are truly thankful for. List it. Utter it. Sing it. Fight back tears over it.

The things you're most thankful for shouldn't be changeable, for your family could die in a car accident tomorrow...and then what? The command to be thankful won't change because you've lost them.

In light of that, what are you thankful for, my friends?

~ That He died, That He rose again
~ The Holy Bible, the script for my heart and mind
~ My eternal inheritance
~ Sharing in His glory sometimes
~ Feeling His love
~ Feeling His strength
~ Feeling His grace
~ Knowing I'm a pilgrim here for a fleeting time
~ Knowing that all pain and ailments will be healed once and for all, in heaven

1 Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Psalm 107:1 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!   

Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

Colossians 3:15-17 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.   

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God

2 Corinthians 9:16 Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

Psalm 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!   

Isaiah 12:4-5 And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. “Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth.

Psalm 100:1-5  A Psalm for giving thanks. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.   


Anonymous said...

Sometimes being thankful is all there is - it is the thing which gets us through the most difficult times. Being thankful for the light when my life is in darkness is a genuine act of faith. This narrow road is not easy. I will continue praying for you.

Christine said...

And I for you, dear Sandy. Prayer was offered up for you and your son today. Be blessed.