Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Heart Of Thanks: Even When Life Is Difficult

The wilderness is for my own good so I should be thankful for it.

 

Psalms 95:1-11 Come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come to Him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to Him.

3 For the LORD is a great God, a great King above all gods. 4 He holds in His hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains. 5 The sea belongs to Him, for He made it. His hands formed the dry land, too.

6 Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the LORD our maker, 7 for He is our God. We are the people He watches over, the flock under His care. If only you would listen to His voice today!

8 The LORD says, "Don't harden your hearts as Israel did at Meribah, as they did at Massah in the wilderness. 9 For there your ancestors tested and tried My patience, even though they saw everything I did.

10 For forty years I was angry with them, and I said, 'They are a people whose hearts turn away from Me. They refuse to do what I tell them.' 11 So in My anger I took an oath: 'They will never enter My place of rest.'"

Think about all of the ways that you should be thankful, go to God and let him know how good he has been to you, when you consider just a fraction of it all it should make you break into song.

Maybe that isn't your experience right now, you know he deserves it, you may be wondering through a desert experience and your feelings are just not there. You are in a situation that you don't want to be thankful for.

Our number one desire here in the United States is to be comfortable, more money, better health, a house full of stuff and we are happy. The only problem with that way of thinking is that it isn't God's number one desire for you.

We like to pray for him to close doors that we shouldn't go through but what if he closed that door to test your faith? Do we really believe that God is in control when things happen?
“I wouldn’t have signed up for it; I wouldn’t choose to go through it again; and I wouldn’t wish it on anybody else. But God did something in the middle of those circumstances that I don’t think he could have done any other way.”
-Andy Stanley
God's number one desire for you is to make you holy, he is the master gardener that prunes his vine to make it more productive, growth usually comes in the most difficult moments, we like the path of least resistance but that isn't necessarily what God wants.

Sometimes we feel like God is lateuncooperative or inattentive even when we look back at recent history and see his blessings in our life. We are just like God's children in the wilderness, we have been brought out of slavery, we have witnessed unexplained miracles but at the moment we are out in a desert and the last thing we want to do is thank God for this situation.

We need to see God's presence in even the most difficult times and realize that sometimes he strategically puts us where we would never go. Have you considered the reality that Jesus knew the weather forecast and he still put his disciples in a boat on two different occasions? Why would God ask Jonah to go start a revival in enemy territory? Why would faithful men have to make a decision to stand firm and get thrown in a furnace?

Are there difficulties in your life that you ought to be thankful for, how can you go about changing your perspective and developing an attitude of gratitude?

Lord help me to remember that you are in control and that I should not look at the people and circumstances around me and blame them for interrupting my plans to be comfortable. Thank you for loving me enough to die for me and for using any means necessary to help me grow.

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