Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tears


Revelation 21:4
“...and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
How could I be thankful for tears?  We cry when we experience intense joy, sorrow, or pain.  I must mean tears of joy.  While those are included, I am thankful for tears of sorrow as well.  For one thing, they are a kind of pressure release valve.  That release helps a little.
What I am most thankful for, though, is the fact that I can look forward to a time when there won’t be any more mourning, crying, or pain.  When I’m sad, hurting, or have let the chains of sin weigh me down, I can look forward and know that this, too shall pass.  When this earth has passed away, I will be able to appreciate what Christ has done for me all the more, because I know what it was like in a sinful world.  I know a taste of what Christ saved me from, and that will make eternal life with Him all the sweeter.
In a way, it makes life sweeter now.  That is what it is to be joyful in the Lord.  Even when we are mourning, we can have His joy.  

Monday, July 30, 2012

Wedding Rings


Ecclesiastes 7:14
“In the day of prosperity be happy, but in the day of adversity consider - God has made the one as well as the other...”
Many things in life are put before us as reminders and symbols.  I am thankful for the reminder from a wedding ring.
I have a theory about rings:  they are the best form of jewelry for a reminder.  They’re the one piece of jewelry that is constantly visible that also doesn’t get in the way (generally).  I don’t know about you, but a bracelet just seems to be in my way most of the time.  A necklace isn’t readily visible to the person wearing it.  Anklets take a little effort to see, and you can’t see earrings at all without a mirror.  
A ring, though, is always on your hand.  And your hands are usually in front of you where you can see them throughout your day.  As a result, my wedding ring will often catch the light and send a little glitter toward my eye.  
A diamond needs two things to shine with brilliance:  light and the right cut.  God unified my husband and me to glitter, but we cannot achieve that glitter apart from His light and His perfect cut.  Catching the glitter in my eye is like being able to see the light of Christ refracted brilliantly off of the diamond of our marriage.  During the hard times, though, I can remember that it takes cutting to shine brighter.
The trick is how to be thankful for the cutting.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Weekly Impressions - Strategy


2 Corinthians 10:3-5
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ...”
I have, for the most part, enjoyed myself this past week.  God has been revealing more to me through this discipline in thankfulness.  In looking for at least one thing to focus on being thankful for each day, I have begun to see Him more in the things around me.  The best part is, I have been able to focus a little more on Him rather than on myself.  The more I think about things in relation to myself, the more likely I am to become frustrated or upset.  The more I focus on things in relation to Him and the myriad ways He is at work in my life, the more thankful and joyful I become.
My expectations seem to be the biggest culprit lately.  If things don’t go the way I expect them to - or think they should - my thoughts will automatically start to degenerate.  I have to take a mental hold on them at that point and replace my focus on me with focus on God.  I was able to do this with Clouds a few times this week.  God’s Creation makes it easier to find something to bring my focus toward God while I’m outside, as I can see it all around me.  Inside, I have generally needed to recall ideas such as Teaching and Family.
The thing that has helped me the most this week is to remember “It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” (Colossians 3:24b) from Opportunity to Serve.  This helps me to refocus on the fact that God is in control and has a Purpose for what I am going through or doing.  I don’t have to worry about being “successful” because God has the Victory - it is His success.  Being able to combine thankful things like that has made thankful things even more effective.
What thankful things has God shown you this past week?  

Friday, July 27, 2012

Victory


Philippians 1:18b-21
“Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.  For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
It was time to begin a new book of the Bible during my quiet time this morning.  Since I am working on developing a heart of thankfulness, I thought that I ought to read Philippians.  I have always been looking for something to relate to Paul’s statement “to live is Christ and to die is gain,” so that I could better understand it.  The second part seems pretty obvious, but what does “to live is Christ” really mean?

God decided to show me what it meant for me this morning in the passage above.  Paul had just finished talking about some people preaching the gospel “out of selfish ambition... thinking to cause [him] distress in [his] imprisonment,” and explains that he rejoices anyway, because the gospel is still being preached.  Combine that with the passage above, and Paul is saying that no matter what, there is victory in Christ.  Christ will always receive the glory.  As long as I align myself with God’s will, I cannot lose - because God cannot lose.  Therefore I will not be put to shame.  

“To live is Christ” means to me that to live in Christ is victory.  “Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.”  It doesn’t matter what I’m going through.  The pain I experience from fibromyalgia is for the glory of God.  The crying of my baby in distress is for the glory of God.  The traffic accident on the side of the road is for the glory of God.  All is victory in Christ.

If we can see these things for what they are, we can rejoice.  There is no need to worry, because God has the victory.  I thank God for His victory.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Clouds


Psalm 19:1
“The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.”
Have you ever glanced up at the sky and the clouds caught your breath?  It happened to me this morning as I was driving to work.  (I don’t get up early enough to see sunrise.)  It was just a single cloud.  A vast stratus cloud that the blue sky peeked through in something of a washboard pattern.  It covered most of the sky.
It was rather enjoyable to take a figurative step back (I still paid attention to driving) and consider the work of God’s hands.  I am thankful that He chose to create clouds as part of His display.  He shows a part of His infinite imagination in them, and the sheer magnitude of His artwork reminds me of His infinite power.

His glory is displayed everywhere for all to see.  We choose not to most of the time.  That could be part of why He made it so that the evidence is so widespread in His Creation.
No matter what you’re going through at the moment, do you choose to see His glory?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Small Desires Met

Psalm 147:7-8
“Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
Sing praises to our God on the lyre,
Who covers the heavens with clouds,
Who provides rain for the earth,
Who makes grass to grow on the mountains.”
Have you ever picked up a few cards to deal and found that you had grabbed just the right amount?  Or taken a small bottle of toothpaste on a trip and it had the perfect amount left in it?  I snatched a handful of paperclips today in the office and discovered that it was precisely the amount that I needed for my task.  Twice.  
I laugh every time something like that happens, because the odds are so small. It’s a blessed little reminder of God’s provision - and His sense of humor.  God is obviously at work, and it makes me smile that He chooses to do so in something so small.  God, “Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who provides rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains.”  That God sees fit to also provide for a minuscule desire here and there.
God isn’t some cosmic killjoy.  He loves to meet our desires - but He cannot and will not if they are apart from His will.  It is fun to remember that the tiniest things are part of His will.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Biblical Counsel


Proverbs 12:15
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.”
Our family is going through a lot of change right now.  We have some big decisions to make and a number of things to sort through.  Our 8.5 month old son is a source of constant change as he grows, increases in mobility, and develops new sleep habits.  My husband is also fairly recently out of work and considering going back to school.  As God continues to move in our lives, we try to remain pliable (or become more so, as the case may be).
I am thankful to have people that I can trust who will give me counsel based off of what God has said (and is saying).  Too easily, we can lose ourselves in the excitement of something new, and lose sight of reality and priorities.  School, for example, would change many things in our household, but is a very exciting prospect.  It’s one of those things that you can very easily start down the road of research and find yourself actually enrolling before you made the decision to.  It is good to have someone double-check our motives and reasoning against the roles and priorities that God has outlined, because by the end of it, we will be more sure of our decision.  
Do you have people who aren’t afraid to give you godly advice?  When was the last time you asked them?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Stillness


Psalm 46:10
“Cease striving and know that I am God...”
I enjoy the warm glow of a light at night.  The night has a stillness to it that the right lighting can make very warm and relaxing.  It is during these times that it’s easiest for me to think.  The busyness of the day and the need to multi-task feels farther off.  
My mind seems rather constantly on the go, and it can be difficult to focus on being still - on not doing anything at the same time that I’m “thinking about God.”  The busyness of the day isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I do need to live in the constant knowledge of His presence.  I act differently when I have that in mind.  
In the stillness, it is easier to remember that God is control.  The warm glow seems more like His loving arms around me than just a lamp lighting the room.   And in the stillness, it is easier to hear God speaking to me.  It is the best time for me to have a quiet time with Him.  We all need that time during which our full attention - including the attention of our hands - is brought fully to bear on the Lord.  He will fill us back up with what we need to continue in our work for Him.
Where and when can you find your stillness?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Weekly Impressions - Rubber Meets the Road


Proverbs 25:28
“Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit.”
I knew it would come at some point.  That stage when the excitement fades and you just don’t feel like it.  The glamor of creating a blog and starting a new project has dulled, and that giddy feeling that helps to buoy my spirits is absent.  I’m more irritable and more easily set off.  This is why I am thankful for Discipline and Grace.
I created this blog as part of my defense against that feeling.  I knew I would need the extra accountability to continue to strive for a thankful heart.  I could get away with posting “rhetoric” - basically with faking it - and I have seriously fought that urge on some of my posts.  However, as I said in last week’s Weekly Impressions - Genesis, my job is to be honest.  Darn.
It really does help, though.  Accountability can be a strong motivator.  It helps to achieve discipline, and discipline helps when you don’t feel like it.  And for those times when you don’t hit the mark, there’s grace.  God loves me anyway.  Without that stress, I can continue exercising discipline.
The fall of feelings was at the beginning of this week, and as I’ve thought about how to be honest in my accountability, I’ve been able to dispel most of the irritability.  I may still not feel thankful very often, but I can exercise the discipline of ruminating on thankful things.  While my feelings don’t necessarily kick into the positive, they are less negative.
I still haven’t worked up my room lists of thankful things, though I have been trying to brainstorm what I can put on them.  That in itself has been useful.  It has been a way to fill my mind with good things (Philippians 4:8) rather than with garbage.  This is the habit I hope to get into all the time, rather than just in the rooms of my house - but one must start somewhere.  
So while I may not have experienced as many thankful feelings as I did last week, I am progressing.  Blogging has forced me to practice, and practicing has opened an avenue of strategy in every-day living.  What I am working on most right now is what I dwell on from moment to moment.  I need to keep control over my spirit and to “set [my] mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:2)
What are you dwelling on?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Grace


Philippians 2:13
“...for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”
The definition of grace is unmerited favor.  That means that the grace God gives us is not based on what we do - it’s unmerited.  We can’t do anything to obtain God’s grace, or it wouldn’t be grace.  How often is your motive based on currying God’s favor?  The frequency of that motive in my life is a little daunting.
Grace expounds on Love.  It’s one of the ways He shows us that our worth doesn’t come from what we do, but from the God who loves us enough to give us grace.  He didn’t choose me for what I could do, or for what He needed me to do - God doesn’t need anything from us.  It was His good pleasure to choose me, because He wanted to.
Are you serving the Lord in the hopes of “pleasing” Him?  Or are you serving Him just because you love Him?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Discipline


Proverbs 3:11-12
“My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord or loathe His reproof, for whom the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.”
What comes to mind when you hear the word “discipline?”  The belt or wooden spoon your parents might have used?  It doesn’t exactly bring to mind a positive connotation.  But aren’t you grateful that you received it?
Where would you be today if you hadn’t received any discipline?  Probably dead in the street, because you wouldn’t listen to your parents when they said that cars could kill you.  Or your hands burned on the stove (which some of us have gone and done anyway, learning first hand the value of listening).  
What about self-discipline?  If we didn’t discipline ourselves to get up every morning and go to work, we’d be living on the streets.  Or if we didn’t discipline ourselves in our eating habits, we’d have no end of health issues.  Discipline is a good thing.
So what about when the Lord does it to His children?  Is it any less of a good thing?  On the contrary, even more so, because the Lord will discipline us perfectly.  “...He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 1:6)  This doesn’t happen magically.  It requires discipline.
God has various ways to discipline us.  Sometimes, it’s a word from someone that reminds you of who you serve. (See Opportunity to Serve for more on that.) Sometimes, a slap on the hand in something inconvenient for us.  And then there are those times when we’ve just been looking the other way so long that God finally whips out the baseball bat and gives it a good swing.  (Don’t misunderstand me.  I don’t mean that all your circumstances are a result of God disciplining you - that would contradict the book of Job - but God does have a reason for your circumstances.  See Teaching for more on that.)
He doesn’t do this out of anger.  In fact, He does this out of mercy.  It doesn’t feel very good - especially at the time.  But you will thank Him later.  
Can you thank Him now?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Creation


Romans 1:20
“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”
God’s creation is such an amazing thing to ponder.  Every stray ray of light, every playful breeze, every piece of mud has God’s design embossed within it.  It reflects His vast creativity and personality in a myriad of different ways.  The majesty of the mountains, the unique intricacy of each snowflake, the raw force of the ocean, the gentle way of a dog.  
Whether you hone in on the smallest parts of an atom that we can comprehend, or try to wrap your mind around the expanse of the universe, everything is put together just so.  There are infinite variables involved, yet He keeps each one in balance.  There is so much of God to see in what He has made.
No matter what portion of creation you choose to focus on, be it large or small, simple or complex, it is a reminder that God is wherever you go.  He is in control of the world around you, and all-powerful to work His good will in your life.
There are so many facets of creation to be thankful for, and they all point to Him.  Which one is God impressing upon you today?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Truth

2 Timothy 3:16
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
I am thankful for truth.  Not the nebulous philosophical kind that wit gives us.  The kind of truth that’s in the Living Word of God.  God’s truth.  The truth of the all-knowing, all-powerful, omnipresent God.  His truth is infallible.  When He reveals a piece of truth to me, I tuck it away in my heart (in a glass case, so I can still share it), because it is reassuring to know that bit of truth.  
Most - probably all - of those truths that I know are from the Bible.  One explanation of the Bible that I have always liked, is that it is a letter from God to His children.  Have you ever read a letter, then later had it explained to you by the person who wrote it?  You would have understood the gist of it by reading it yourself, but it adds a whole different dimension when the author explains it.  God is constantly explaining to us through the power of the Holy Spirit.  It is a part of our relationship with Him. 
One of the easiest ways in which He explains is through a sermon.  You’re most ready to listen then, since that’s part of why you’re there on a Sunday.  More so, if you’re listening online.  But are you listening to the preacher, or to what God is saying through the preacher?  Listening to the preacher can get you in trouble - he’s not infallible.  Nor am I.  Don't listen to me - listen to what God might be saying to you through me.
So what has God been explaining to you lately?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cuteness

2 Corinthians 4:18

“...while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

My son’s adorable.  I love it when he makes little noises to himself.  I’m blessed in that he’s a pretty happy kiddo.  His wide smile and little laughs can brighten a moment in a flash - and he does it pretty often.  
It’s a good thing, too.  I’m pretty sure that God made it that way, or fewer kids would make it to adulthood.  You can be totally frustrated with him - for any number of reasons - and then he whips out a smile and some adorable little sound. Suddenly, your frustration is pushed back by a rush of laughter.  He’s just so cute!
I am thankful that God created cuteness.  It’s a reminder to me of God’s love.  It's something that I can see in the physical world that helps me remember the things which I can't see.  It's a mental kick to take a step back in the middle of a tough situation.  To remember that God’s in control.  It’s a personal check. Why are you frustrated, and will it really matter in light of eternity (or even a few hours)?
Are you frustrated with something?  Take a step back.  Don’t try to control it - give it up to God.  He was always the One in control of it anyway.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Weekly Impressions - Genesis


Romans 12:2
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
This past week has been pretty fun and exciting.  God not only called me to change my mindset to a thankful heart (and thus, joy and peace in Him), but also to share my journey with others through blogging.  He has given me a purpose - and I am so thankful!
At first, it was about me.  This blog is a way for me to be held accountable.  A set plan with a goal.  Then I realized that I would need to be constantly reminded of the thankful things God showed me.  The easiest way to do that was to post them in a place that I might need it. Thus, I came up with the idea of lists in various rooms.  Then God began to expand my narrow vision.  I wasn’t the only one who needed reminder lists.  If I created lists of various struggles, and applied thankful things to them on the blog, it would help me and everyone who read it.  Thus, Lists was conceived, to explain the labels.
As God continued to show me various ways that He could use my blog for others, I became both excited and anxious.  Being used for your purpose is a humbling thing - and I didn’t want to screw it up.  God just replied that if I screwed up, He would use that, too.  Of course I’m a sinner.  Of course I’m going to screw up.  As long as my heart is bent on serving God to the best of my ability, God will honor that.  How God uses what I post is up to Him.  My job is to be honest about my journey, to make sure that I’m not spreading false teaching, and to bring God the glory.  

God showed me recently that I have been focused on myself far more than I thought.  I’ve been feeling like a failure - not a good enough mother or wife.  I feel like I should be able to do better, to be better.  Through biblical counseling, God has revealed this attitude as self focus.  When “beating myself up,” I’m saying that I’m better than I’m acting, and that I deserve better.  That sent a chill down my spine.  Am I really that prideful?  Yes.
At that point, I am also getting my worth from what I’m doing.  I had forgotten Love. The truth is, what I do doesn’t make a difference.  It’s who I am.  Who I am isn’t what I do.  Who I am, is a chosen daughter of God.  My worth comes from who He is.  Being thankful automatically puts you in a mindset of humility, not pride.
So I have started working to implement this new mindset of a constantly thankful heart in my everyday life.  Since my spare time has been used in setting up this blog, I have not yet created my room lists.  Lacking that, I have been working on catching myself when I start to feel down - more specifically when I start to feel frustrated, anxious, or depressed.  This was exercised rather vigorously when my 8-month-old son had a rough go of it a few nights ago.
He woke up at night in a bit of a panic and nothing we did helped.  It was beyond fussiness - something was clearly wrong.  Trying to keep a thankful heart in the middle of the night through the desperate cries of your baby for over an hour - twice - is somewhat challenging.  (Certainly not to say that others haven’t struggled for longer bouts, but an hour will begin to wear on anyone.)  However, I was successful to some degree.
I utilized Opportunity to Serve.  “It is the Lord Christ whom [I] serve.”  (Colossians 3:24) So the question was how I could serve God and bring Him glory while serving my son.  Being thankful for the opportunity to serve Him was the first step.  There wasn’t much I could do for my son, but doing wasn’t the point.  I was there for him, and that was what God was calling me to do.  That fulfilled my purpose in Christ, which gave me peace.  As long as I could keep that mindset, the frustration and stress didn’t seem to touch me.  As long as my mind was centered on Christ - not myself - there was very little room left for frustration, stress, and worry.
That’s not to say that I didn’t lose the mindset and have moments of serious frustration and stress.  Yet I can be thankful for even those moments, because God is using them to Teach me.  They give me more practice to steer myself toward a thankful heart.
As I continue to find more thankful things, I arm myself with more ammunition against the ways of the world.  Thank you for joining me on this journey.  May it bless you, too.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Purpose


Job 42:2 
“I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” 
To be used by God is a humbling experience.  It usually shows you how small you are in the scheme of things, with the knowledge that God wanted to use you anyway.  How wondrous to be included, to be wanted.
God has called me to a purpose in this blog.  A sobering prospect to me, considering the number of people that a blog can reach. What if I mess up?  How can I be a light for Christ if I mess up in front of everyone?
That’s a great question, because it has a reassuring answer.  God can use even my mistakes to encourage others.  Not in the sense that they are better than me, but in the sense that they struggle in those areas, too.  No one wants to be constantly measured up against a perfect person.  There is only failure in that thought.  But if I’m open about my struggles and how I deal with them, God’s power is revealed.  You can see what God has brought me through despite myself, and be encouraged that He does that for you, too.  It’s what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:9: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” God’s power. 
It is an amazing feeling to know God’s purpose for you and to know that no purpose of His can be thwarted.  I am so thankful that He has revealed His present purpose for me.  It wasn’t until I set my focus on Him that he showed me.  Searching for my purpose didn’t reveal it, searching for Him did.
What are you searching for?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Opportunity to Serve


Colossians 3:23-24
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”
Have you ever had the opportunity to serve someone?  Unless you’ve lived life as a hermit, you’ve at least had the option.  Do you remember it as a positive experience?  Your experiences might be both positive and negative.  Thank God He uses both.
What is your purpose behind your service?  Is it the thanks you receive afterward?  The joy you experience in bringing joy to someone else?  Or is it to bring glory to God?
When I’m having a bad experience serving someone, it’s usually due to my motives.  It’s not bad to enjoy the thanks you receive, or to feel good about helping someone.  However, these are the icing on the cake.  They aren’t the reason we serve, they're the bonuses.  Our true reason should be the opportunity to serve God, and to do it in such a way that brings Him glory.
When I’m in the kitchen, feeling sorry for myself having to do chores, what I really need to be focusing on is the fact that I’m serving God.  Everything I do in life should be in service of Him.  I can never repay the debt that I have to my Savior, but that isn’t the point.  The point is your relationship with Him.  He enjoys just being with you, and delights when you serve Him.  I am thankful that I can do something with Him.
So... who are you serving today?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Family

Ecclesiastes 4:12
"And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart."

Being a new mom, this one is rather easy.  I am well and truly blessed to be near my family.  It’s somewhat rare for my 8 month old son to drive me to the edge of reason, because I am constantly near or around family who is willing to take him for awhile.  I often consider how life was in Bible times and think that, in that aspect of their culture, they had a truly good thing.
Not least of that family blessing is my husband.  His servant’s heart calms my own.  He’ll notice my stress level rising and snatch our son up and make him laugh.  That cute little laugh can go a fair way.
If you are away from family, I would encourage you to seek out good friends that you can gather about you as close as family.  “[B]etter is a neighbor who is near, than a brother far away.”  (Proverbs 27:10)  God created us to be social creatures.  How we interact with others is often the greatest way that we can bring glory to God.  Relationships are part of our makeup, and it is fulfilling to experience them.
Be thankful for those you have around you.  God uses them in all kinds of ways.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Teaching

Romans 8:28
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."


One thing that I find encouraging about this verse, is that our trials are for a reason. Each trial is an opportunity to learn something. It may be something you have already learned and need to be reminded of, but you can rest in the fact that "God causes all things to work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." I try to view each trial as God teaching me something.

If I assume that mindset, the trial seems to change. It doesn't seem like a trial so much as a class. Some classes are harder than others, but you're going to come out of it with a little more knowledge. In God's classes, I would call it wisdom.  

The trial is no longer quite as frustrating. I might wish that I would learn it already - in which case, He might be teaching me patience! - but at least I know my struggle is not in vain. I can be thankful God is teaching me and working all things together for my good and His glory.

What trial(s) are you going through right now?  Can you be thankful for how God is using it to teach you?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Love

1 John 4:18
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love."

I am thankful for God's perfect love.  The love that saved my soul.  Too often, my focus falls from Him, and I lose sight of who I am in Christ.  Yet without Him, I am nothing.  His love for me precipitated everything that I have to be thankful for.  It is the source of my worth... and the beginning of my hope.

Take a moment to bask in His love.  Remember what you mean to Him; He died for you.  He wouldn't trade you for the world.  And that love doesn't depend on you in any way.  There is nothing you have to do (or can do) to increase, decrease, or maintain it.  He loves you because of who He is.  Take the pressure off?

Now observe the world around you.  Observe your day in light of eternity.  Look any different?