Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Lifestyle of Thanksgiving

A Lifestyle of Thanksgiving

Struggles.  No one wants them, but the more I think about it, the more I see that they are a necessary part of life.  Troubles and negative circumstances seem to constantly dog us, our lives being a chain of problems with one that gets resolved and gives way to yet another problem.  Everyone has their challenges in life, whether they are temporary issues or ones that seem to hang on year after year.

In the world, we indeed have tribulation (Jn. 16:33), but there’s a “but” that comes next.  Jesus said He has overcome the world.  In the parable of the house on the rock and the house on the sand, He says “when the storms come”, not “if”.  Storms are forever coming, and we have to learn to deal with them.  But we have Jesus to guide us through if we learn to hear from Him and trust His guidance.

I got to thinking the other day about the fact that if life were just a bed of roses all the time, how many of us would be in a mode of thanksgiving to God continually for all His blessings?  Precious few, I’m sure.  It’s generally when we need help that we turn to God.  Sad fact, but true, nonetheless.

But beyond that, I realized that growth isn’t going to come when things are easy.  The Church in the first century didn’t grow until it came under persecution.  Growth came under pressure.  The Church in China today is huge, but underground.  I’d lay odds those are some Christians that know how to trust their God.

Failure spurs many people on to gain great victories.  Competition will serve to motivate to success.  Self esteem grows when people are challenged and they work to come out on top, not when all competition is removed.  An easy, unchallenging life will produce a person that accomplishes little and a person that has no idea who God is or how to trust Him.

We’ve all heard the story of the butterfly that died when its cocoon was slit to make it easier for him to come out.  It’s a matter of looking at our circumstances differently.  I am working on seeing them as an opportunity to trust God, knowing that there is an end somewhere, God will bring me there, and in the process of overcoming, I will grow and learn to see things more as He does.  But most importantly, I will live a life of thanksgiving to God, continually praising Him for His wonderful blessings.
For surely there is an end and thine expectation shall not be cut off. Prov. 23:18
Emerging butterfly is free image from Wikimedia Commons.

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My Newest Weapon- Thanksgiving

Quill pen is free image from Wikimedia Commons.

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