I’ve missed writing and sharing with you. It’s been an extremely busy and somewhat challenging season for me. Working from home and care giving full-time hasn’t left me with much spare time, but again I’ve missed writing to you.
Anyway, I was considering what to write today and this song came to mind immediately. I hope you’ll be as encouraged by it as I am. By the grace of God…
I am standing in absolute stillness, silent before the one I love, waiting as long as it takes for him to rescue me. Only God is my Savior, and he will not fail me. Psalms 62:5 TPT https://bible.com/bible/1849/psa.62.5.TPT
It’s Thanksgiving today, and it has been anything but traditional at our home. Due to my husband’s currently compromised immune system we are not having or participating in a family gathering. As this day approached I made a conscious decison to be thankful and grateful, and I am so glad. The quiet has been good, and I even found time to sleep in, bake bread, and just reflect on the goodness of God — to count my many, many blessings.
While thinking on this I feel I heard the Holy Spirit whisper that being grateful opens the door to a grace-filled life. It’s a matter of the heart and it’s the “why” that He is teaching me. I see that being grateful/thankful is like having my arms lifted, wide open to the Father. Looking to him and thanking Him for not only what He has already done, but trusting Him with the future. It’s like a magnet, pulling all the good things that He has toward me. He is love, He wants to supply all that we need, and He delights in doing it!
In contrast, being angry and ungrateful is like standing with closed, clenched fists, head down, fearful, unable to percieve or recieve all that God had provided and wants to provide. (Oh, how that must grieve His heart.)
As an example: I was deeply touched to learn of the unexpected home going of the husband of a precious woman I know — have known for years as a woman of faith and a lover of God. Her response today on social media was to write about thankfulness. As she so amazingly and aptly put, “In the midst of intense sorrow and loss the only posture that is fitting and necessary is thankfulness.” She then wrote a wonderful list of the many things for which she is thankful.
What she wrote served as an important reminder to me that no matter how difficult a moment in time or circumstance may be, I have the opportunity to be thankful for things both large and small — I am so very blessed!
I am so very grateful that He has given me the choice! When the enemy comes at me with fear, to make me angry or tries to get me to have a pity party over things that have happened, I will choose to believe in and thank God for His mercies and unfailing love. I will rehearse His goodness in prayers of thanksgiving and worship Him. King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Love incarnate, my savior and redeemer. And in doing so I will open up my heart and receive His great, great grace. Oh how HE LOVES you and me!
From my pastor this morning: “Prayer is not complete without gratitude… Thankfulness is an exercise in Faith.” – Pastor George Pearson, Eagle Mountain International Church
Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, Philippians 4:6 TPT https://bible.com/bible/1849/php.4.6.TPT
We read in the story of Daniel and how he faced the lion’s den – not desperate or fearful. He was faithfilled and grateful. His prayers and thankfulness led to his deliverance . (Daniel 6)
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house, and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he got down upon his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. Daniel 6:10 AMPC https://bible.com/bible/8/dan.6.10.AMPC
I enjoy old movies. When recently thinking about being mindful to be grateful, I thought of the movie Pollyanna. I haven’t watched this movie from the 60s again just yet, but I found the story available on Kindle and I am reading it. If you want to learn more about the movie and see some clips, here is a link to Turner Classic Movies.
In the story, Pollyanna is an orphan who was born to missionaries and being sent to live with her wealthy, austere Aunt Polly. Early in life Pollyanna’s father taught her to play the Glad Game. The object of the game was to find something to be glad about no matter the situation or circumstance. To the chagrin of people around her (including her Aunt Polly–who did not want to hear anything about Pollyanna’s father), Pollyanna was very good at it! Although several did not like her positive attitude, eventually many of them found themselves learning to play the game too. She touched the lives of many around her, even the minister of the local church.
Not only do I enjoy Pollyanna’s story, I admire her courage and perserverance to do just what her father said, even when it was difficult — choosing to find something to be glad about. It seems that at the root, the Glad Game is quite biblical. It goes right along with the scripture below from Philippians. And with the following scripture that talks about the Lord being glad.
Keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always. Philippians 4:8 TPT https://bible.com/bible/1849/php.4.8.TPT
For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/zep.3.17.NLT
So as we near this Thanksgiving season, I’m making an effort to do just that — to hear and obey the Word of my Father — to choose to fix my thoughts on what’s good, pure, lovely… And no matter the circumstance to choose to BE GLAD, BE THANKFUL, and BE GRATEFUL.
Here’s an example: I would really enjoy being able to sit and talk with each one reading this. That might not be possible, but I am glad to have the opportunity to share my thoughts and my faith with you. Oh how HE loves you and me! I pray you will find many reasons to be glad too!
I am grateful for good spiritual leaders, the ones I can look up to and want to emulate. Yet I remind myself that they are human and therefore not perfect — and that my hope must always be in the Lord.
I am also reminded that all those in positions of leadership need our prayers. If you are reading this will you please join me in praying for our leaders?
First – that they come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.
Next – that their ears, hearts and minds are open to hear and receive godly wisdom. And they willingly act upon it in every important decision. That they are protected from and refuse to take part in any evil plan.
Higher than the highest heavens— that’s how high your tender mercy extends! Greater than the grandeur of heaven above is the greatness of your loyal love, towering over all who fear you and bow down before you! Farther than from a sunrise to a sunset— that’s how far you’ve removed our guilt from us. But Lord, your endless love stretches from one eternity to the other, unbroken and unrelenting toward those who fear you and those who bow facedown in awe before you. Your faithfulness to keep every gracious promise you’ve made passes from parents, to children, to grandchildren, and beyond. You arefaithful to all those who follow your ways and keep your word.
I have been reading and thinking a lot lately. There is a lot going on in our world and in my personal life. I have been feeling more emotional and find myself needing to be more diligent to remain focused, in faith and resting in Him.
I’ve been reading and meditating on Ephesians 6 (in The Passion translation) about warfare and the armor God has given us the right to use. I am sharing the lead in verses below, but I recommend reading to the end of the chapter. I hope you will find strength in it as I have. I needed the reminder of whose I am and the weapons He has provided.
Now my beloved ones, I have saved these most important truths for last: Be supernaturally infused with strength through your life-union with the Lord Jesus. Stand victorious with the force of his explosive power flowing in and through you. Put on God’s complete set of armor provided for us, so that you will be protected as you fight against the evil strategies of the accuser! Your hand-to-hand combat is not with human beings, but with the highest principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realms. For they are a powerful class of demon-gods and evil spirits that hold this dark world in bondage. Ephesians 6:10-12 TPT https://bible.com/bible/1849/eph.6.10-12.TPT
We must gird ourselves with the belt of truth, put on the helmet of salvation, pick up the shield of faith, arm ourselves with the Sword of The Spirit (the Word of God), walk out the gospel of peace, and pray passionately.
Take a few moments to reflect on these words and be encouraged dear one. Oh how He loves you and me!
Higherthan the highest heavens— that’s how high your tender mercy extends! Greater than the grandeur of heaven above is the greatness of your loyal love, towering over all who fear you and bow down before you! Fartherthan from a sunrise to a sunset— that’s how far you’ve removed our guilt from us. But Lord, your endless love stretches from one eternity to the other, unbroken and unrelenting toward those who fear you and those who bow facedown in awe before you. Your faithfulness to keep every gracious promise you’ve made passes from parents, to children, to grandchildren, and beyond. You are faithful to all those who follow your ways and keep your word. Psalms 103:11-12, 17-18 TPT https://bible.com/bible/1849/psa.103.11-18.TPT
Day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment. We choose by what we say and by what we believe. Will we choosefaith in the goodness of God and that he has a good plan for our future? Or will we choose to allow fear and worry to preplay a “dreaded outcome” in our future?
Faith based on the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus (that he has set me free from the law of sin and death), believes more in the ability and willingness of God to save and keep me than it does in the ability of anyone or anything to harm or hurt me.
Faith receives. For it was only through this wonderful grace that we believed in him. Nothing we did could ever earn this salvation, for it was the gracious gift from God that brought us to Christ! Ephesians 2:8 TPT
Now faith brings our hopes into reality and becomes the foundation needed to acquire the things we long for. It is all the evidence required to prove what is still unseen. Hebrews 11:1 TPT
Faith empowers us to see that the universe was created and beautifully coordinated by the power of God’s words! He spoke and the invisible realm gave birth to all that is seen. Hebrews 11:3 TPT
And without faith living within us it would be impossible to please God. For we come to God in faith knowing that he is real and that he rewards the faith of those who passionately seek him. Hebrews 11:6 TPT
This is what I choose. I hope you will too!
We look away from the naturalrealm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God! Hebrews 12:2 TPT
Draw near, don’t hold back! Oh my child do not fear, I am not the accuser, I am your Father. I love you with a perfect, unfailing, everlasting love. Who you are is very precious to me. I call you into my presence to spend time with you. Not to tell you what you’ve done wrong — but to remind you of what Jesus did to make it right, to make you right in my sight.
I am longing for intimacy, trust, a conversation with you. I want to tell you how I love you, and how pleased I am with the good choices you’ve made, and how I have plans for you. Plans to fill your future with joy. I want to share myself with you, to overwhelm you and fill you with my love. There is nothing about you that surprises me, nothing I won’t forgive. Do not let the lies of the enemy keep you from me.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.