Gratitude is not always second nature. There are days when it seems all hope is lost. One of those everything that could go wrong did go wrong type of a day and rock bottom turned out to be a few feet lower than you thought.
Finding God’s grace in struggles can be a challenge but it is possible. There are times you feel like you cannot find thankfulness. Regardless how devastating the struggle or if you are just drawing a blank there is always something to be thankful for.
There are many places you can look to count things to be thankful for. Go to your facebook news feed and rejoice with those who are rejoicing. Did someones daughter take their first step? Did someones son graduate high school? Thank God for the family and the blessing. Still in need of more ideas? Head to the Bible. Thank God for the miracles, the stories told, the lessons learned, who He is, and His promises.
Worship music is a nice way to shift our perspective from us, our thoughts, sorrows, etc. to a Godly and heavenly perspective. Additionally, sometimes in the search for gratitude one simply needs to remember to take care of themselves, eating right and sleeping. Listening to others encounters with Christ and stories of His goodness encourages gratitude within. Sometimes we need to take time out to tend to our weary souls.
What do you do when it feels nearly impossible to find something to be thankful for?
“Know this: my God will also fill every need you have according to His glorious riches in Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King.” Philippians 4:19
Jehovah Jireh (God My Provider),
From the moment, I open my eyes at the break of day till the time the sunsets You provide. Daily, You provide me with food, clean water, shelter, clean air, and clothing. You surround me with lovely people whom I cherish. People who challenge me to grow closer to You, people who make me think, and people who support me. A wonderful church family. You have given me purpose each day air kisses my lungs.
Daily, You provide me with just enough to thrive. Enough strength, determination, compassion, love, and grace. You have provided the beauty of nature.
You have provided me with a thriving relationship with You. Blessed me with the Scriptures and the gift of prayer. You have blessed me way beyond my comprehension. You have blessed me in ways that I am unaware of. You have blessed me so greatly, yet so often I do not acknowledge the depth of all my blessings. You are my great provider. I will forever praise Your Holy name.
thank you Victoria her blog is Chronically Hopeful 2014
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18:22
It was a rabbinical doctrine that a person had to forgive their fellow man three times. They believed that God’s forgiveness covered three transgressions and that he punished the fourth. Peter, the rash disciple with his impulsive nature, answered his own questions by saying that we should forgive seven times. Peter expected Jesus to compliment him, but Jesus answered that the Christian should forgive seventy times seven. there is indeed no limit to the Christian’s forgiveness.
Jesus tells the story of a servant who was forgiven an enormous debt, yet soon afterwards he had no mercy on a fellow servant who owned him a much smaller debt. This message runs through the entire New Testament like a golden thread: You must forgive others to be forgiven yourself. Those who cannot forgive others dare not expect God’s forgiveness. Godly and human forgiveness must go hand in hand.
In Jesus’ story the fact that stands out in the size of the two people’s debt. The point Jesus is making here is that nothing we do can be compared to what humankind did to God. If God forgives us our sins, we must also forgive others. We were forgiven an enormous debt that we would never have been able to pay, because our sins brought about the death of the Son of the Living God. We can find mercy in God’s eyes only if we forgive others like God forgave us.
Grace and Peace to You My Friends
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. John 15:1-2
There are people who say that gardening brings you into close contact with nature, I do agree since I have enjoy doing it. It also enhances your property, provides flowers for the house and food for the table. In spite of being hard work, it gives great joy to those who do it.
People in Israel were familiar with the gardener who looked after the vineyard and harvested the grapes. The role of the gardener and of the shepherd, the farmer and the judge was a reference to God. The gardener was in control of the vineyard and the vines were his pride and joy. Christ was God’s vine and thus the “Father” was the owner of the vineyard and the primary agent in taking care of the vineyard and yielding a crop. The small and insignificant Christian community who follow Jesus’ teaching, soon realized that God, the owner of the vineyard had planted a new vine and that these branches were now given preference over the old vine, Israel. In reaching his goal, God was in control of his “garden”, like any hardworking gardener or farmer, he did everything possible to ensure a good and abundant harvest.
Take note that, above the buzz and din of the world’s business God is still there and at work, looking for ways to motivate His missionaries so that He may be sure of a good and fertile crop. Sometimes He plants more vines and patiently carries on working until the first fruit is seen and He can gather the harvest that he has been waiting for. Always look around and see his wonderful handy work he has already done.
Grace and Peace to You My Friends
We have lit the candles of Hope and Peace, and relight them now to remind us that our hope is in Christ and that he will come again to bring peace to the world. Today begins the third week in our Advent journey, and so we light the third candle, the candle of Joy. In ancient times, the prophet Isaiah said, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; to those who lived in a land of deep darkness, on them light has shined.” Many suffer from despair, anxiety, or holiday blues. Others experience only the dark side of human nature. Christ’s light has power to overcome all dark places in our society and our souls. The Psalmist tells us “to make a joyful noise to the Lord, for the Lord is God who made us and whose we are, whose steadfast loves endures forever and faithfulness to all generations. Now we light the third candle, the candle of Joy, as we remember the angel’s words to the shepherds, “Do not be afraid, I am bringing you good news of great joy for all people.” We light it so that all who reap blue harvest from seeds of sadness may know the joy of Jesus Christ. We light it in honor of those who show us the joy of following Christ.
Let us pray: God of Good News, as we await your coming we give you thanks for the joy we have in Christ Jesus. May all who seek such joy find it. For all who have ceased to believe in its possibility, may you work through us to show your joy already present. Come, God of Joy, come. Amen
Grace and Peace to You My Friends