In Everything…

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good,22 reject every kind of evil. 23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5

One of the signs of grace in our lives is that we notice gifts.  We notice God’s gifts, and we can see the gifts he gives us through people.  I find that there is a gravitational force pulling the spiritual and personal tone of life downward.  It is true: I am known as the guy who whistles as he walks through life. But sometimes, my whistle disguises a deeper and more negative introspection at work in my heart. For hours or sometimes for whole days, I find myself ruminating on the negative. And, negativity has the power of exaggeration.  It causes us to see things worse than they are and it soon begins to color everything we see.

Gratitude unleashes the freedom to live content in the moment, rather than being anxious about the future or regretting the past. –Ellen Vaughn

grateGod challenges me with his grace to see life, all of it, as his loving gift. He pushes me to see grace and to express the fact that I need it. God patiently opens my eyes to see that for which I can be grateful, and the people I can thank him for each day.

  • I am grateful for parents, who raised me in the church, where God pursued me and revealed himself to me.
  • I am grateful for a youth director who looked beyond my pimples and social awkwardness and who affirmed me as a follower of Jesus. Along the way he helped me to see that God had a future for me.
  • I am grateful for a pastor who mentored me, and was persistent with his affirmation.  He valued me when I did not value myself.
  • I am grateful for my wife who stands with me, and sometimes she stands against me when I am not looking or walking in the right direction. I am grateful for her love and patience.
  • Yes, there are so many more people for whom I am grateful: my children, faithful brothers and sisters, gracious friends, and many others. When I think of those who have prayed for me, walked with me, lifted me up, encouraged and challenged me, I cannot think about my life without gratitude.

Gratitude is a vaccine, an antitoxin, and an antiseptic. –John Henry Towett

Here’s what I have learned about gratitude.  First, if you practice it, it will reset the tone of your life.  This is why, I believe, God commands us to give thanks in all circumstances.  We need to see life, even those moments we do not care for, as something for which to be grateful.  Second, gratitude is a small door and relatively easy to open, but it leads into a large and spacious place where life can grow and flourish. Third, of course, it tends to always turn your face toward God, and this is always a good thing.  It helps us to keep our eye on him and to focus on his attributes of love and faithfulness.  It is then that we remember that our lives are all of grace.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Sandy on February 8, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Grateful.

    Reply

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