Friday, November 20, 2009

Giving Thanks in All Things

As the Thanksgiving season approaches, it is refreshing to read on the social networks, the posts of God's people as they recollect many wonderful things for which they've been blessed. I, too, have much to be thankful for - spiritual things, material things, big things, small things, good things, and...difficult things. Do what? Difficult things?

Yes, those difficult things should be on my "things to be thankful for list" but to be perfectly transparent with you, I rarely thank God for the hard or difficult things in my life. But, according to Ephesians 5:20, as followers of Christ, we are instructed to give "...thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

In her book, The Attitude of Gratitude - Developing a Thankful Heart, Nancy Leigh DeMoss encourages her readers to "make a list of past or present circumstances, events, trials, or relationships for which you may have never given thanks. Then, as an expression of faith and an exercise of obedience, say, 'Lord, I choose to give You thanks for _____ and _____, which You may never give me the privilege of understanding.' In so doing, you will be acknowledging that God is the 'Blessed Controller' of everything that touches your life and that you trust Him and His sovereign choices for your life."

Nancy shares the story of famous hymn-writer, Fanny J. Crosby, whose sight was destroyed by a doctor's careless error, when she was only 6 weeks old. She lived to be ninety-five and accepted her blindness as a gift from God. She is quoted as saying, "I could not have written thousands of hymns, if I had been hindered by the distractions of seeing all the interesting and beautiful objects that would have been presented to my notice." Her perspective is reflected in a poem she wrote when she was 8 years old:

Oh, what a happy child I am,
Although I cannot see!
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be.
How many blessings I enjoy
That other people don't!
So weep or sigh because I'm blind,
I cannot, nor I won't!

With that perspective comes a strong sense of submission, accepting trials, suffering, pain, loneliness, as gifts from the loving hand of a sovereign God and reflects a radiance of the Lord Jesus Christ, "...who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross..." (Heb. 12:2).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Officially a blogger!

It is official! Though I'm quite unsure exactly what it means (or even how to do it)...I am now a blogger! The thought of honoring Christ by writing is thrilling to me and I pray He uses this blog to glorify Himself.

My life verses found in Jeremiah 17:7-9,14, and posted in the header above, are a reminder of my utter lostness and depravity without Christ and yet they promise great hope for my future. Christ is my praise because as a young child, He sought me and He miraculously saved me and healed my diseased, sin-sick soul. With a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis at the age of 40 years old, He continues to be my Jehovah Rapha (the Lord who heals), as He faithfully covers me with the balm of His Word, the peace of His steadfast love, and the compassion of a Father, like none other. My healing and salvation, both spiritually and physically, are found only in the Lord Jesus Christ!

When I consciously make a sincere effort to put my trust in Christ, whether in the midst of day-to-day life or difficult circumstances, and when my faith is no more than a grain of mustard seed, He is faithful to honor His promises and to give life abundant and unspeakable joy!

Yes, yes, yes...You, O Lord, are my praise!