I get this e-mail called Moments with You from the Raineys...sometimes they're fantastic, sometimes okay...This one really spoke to me, as I have been going through some difficulties as of late. It seems as if it's not one thing it's another. I am going to read this EVERY day... and hopefully get out WAY before 40 years!!! (And before you say you have absolutely NOTHING to be thankful for, you ARE reading this, so you can see. If someone's reading it to you, you can hear.) We ALL have something.
Thanksgiving Day after Day
by Barbara Rainey
He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me. Psalm 50:23
Has it ever seemed surprising to you that God made the Israelites wander in the wilderness for 40 years just for grumbling and complaining? My kids may have spent 30 minutes in their rooms for griping, but 40 years? That's some severe discipline!
One thing is crystal clear from this biblical account: God is obviously not pleased with grumbling, ungrateful hearts. And we should not tolerate grumbling either--in ourselves or in our children.
Being grateful is a choice that we readily and ritually express on Thanksgiving Day. But what do we do on other days of the year when the mood is less festive or the atmosphere is more ordinary?
I like the contented way the Pilgrims approached life. They did not allow their feelings or circumstances to determine whether or not they would exercise gratitude and thanksgiving. They believed that God was in control--"providence," they called it. Following this belief to its logical conclusion, they responded to challenges with a perspective that said, "God has allowed this for our good." They chose to believe--rightly so--that their dependence on a holy, faithful God was well placed and that even though much was against them, there was always much more for which to be grateful.
Developing a heart of gratitude is essential to growing a stronger faith. As John Piper stated in his book A Godward Life, "If we do not believe that we are deeply dependent on God for all we have or hope to have, the very spring of gratitude and faith runs dry."
Make the choice today to take your eyes off yourself and your circumstances, gratefully acknowledging who God is and what He is doing. Deny yourself the right to complain, embracing instead the deep-seated joy of thanksgiving . . . in all things.
A grateful heart pleases God.
I would hope and pray that we can all take this attitude forward. (And I am DEFINITELY preaching to the choir here...) It doesn't mean that we're not going to have cruddy days. It CERTAINLY doesn't mean everything's going to come up roses. But we live in a broken, dying world. Most things around us are broken or dying. That's just a fact. So let's try not to add to that, but somehow CHOOSE to be thankful. Even if you can tell God you are thankful for ONE thing a day. If will at least focus attention where it needs to be for a moment....and then possibly another, and another....
Today, I am thankful for technology. I am thankful that I have this computer to "keep in touch" when I'm not able to get out much. I am thankful that I can receive devotionals and encouraging news from friends. I'm thankful I can use this to learn more about God.
How about you??? What are YOU thankful for today, right now?