True confession: I am not easy with gratitude. I have a hard time saying Thank You to a compliment. Not only that, I’ve struggled to express gratitude. Not to others, but to God.
Living in and with emotional chaos for decades I criticized places in Scripture that were commands; dismissing their relevance to me because, well, ‘that was then and this is now’. I sat over Scripture rather than coming under it. I lived as if I had a better understanding, a better awareness of when Scripture applied to my life was found wanting. I was the one who was wanting, but my rebellious nature thought I was smarter, more modern, without need.
God has been exceedingly patient with me. He has demonstrated love by pursuing my wayward heart; showing up in big and little ways, reminding me of His love, His Presence. He has changed me by His love. I have been transformed by His Spirit.
I believe God and His Words of life. But I still struggle with applying them daily.
In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
If this is God’s will for me in Christ Jesus, I have a lot of work to do. Being thankful has been very challenging to learn because of my tendency to keep my eyes on my circumstances. Anyone else?
How can we be thankful when chaos reigns in life?
I had confused two prepositions. ‘For’ and ‘In’. His Word doesn’t say give thanks for everything. It says In everything.
I can thank Him for Him. God doesn’t change. In spite of difficult family relationships. In spite of broken relationships. In spite of disappointments, unmet expectations, losses.
I am learning to say Thank You to God for little things. In those little things I become aware of His Presence again. My perspective shifts and the former focus fades…
“When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realize just how beautiful you are and how great your affections are for me.”
I love these words from How He Loves by Jesus Culture:
This week, fix your eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of your faith. Not your circumstances. Jesus.