A Heart of Thankfulness and Praise

By Lori Willard

When frustrating trials come into your life, do you wonder, “Why me?” Instead of frustration, do you long for a life of peace?

Romans 13:33-36

33“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! 34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has become His counselor?”35 “Or who has first given to Him, And it shall be repaid to him?” 36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.” (NKJV)

Often, our initial thoughts and responses to adversity are not the best; but, as we welcome the Holy Spirit’s work in us, the Lord is so gracious to give us wisdom and knowledge to change our thoughts and responses to conform to His desire for us.  In turn, we glorify Him and are used by Him more effectively.  As a result, He brings us into a deeper relationship with Him.

Recently, a friend was challenged by many difficulties in her life.  With so much heaviness, she had gotten a heart of negativity.  What a blessing that the Lord performed “heart surgery” for me just a few days earlier!  I was able to share some of His blessings to me with her.

I asked her to hold out her hand – palm facing down.  I explained that down represented the negative thoughts.  Then I asked her to hold out her hand – palm facing up.  I further described that upward facing hand represented our positive thoughts.  Also, we are then in a position to receive from our Heavenly Father and to offer praise to Him.  The Lord illustrated to me, through my devotions, that He wanted me to turn my thoughts right side up and begin to thank Him and praise Him for all He had done.  I was led, also, to thank Him for future blessings that He sees in me, my family, my church, my community, and my world even if those blessings are not yet seen by me or others.

Negative thoughts feed in to Satan’s realm and we begin to have heavy hearts and sour souls.  We also lose hope.  When we have thankful hearts – full of praise – it gives God the glory.  Which is better?

Psalm 50 (read as you have time) explains that the Mighty One, God the Lord, wants us to gather together because He has a message for us.  He wants us to know that He is God, our God!  He sees the good work we are doing and will not rebuke us for our sacrifices.  However, even more, His heart’s desire is that we have an attitude of thanksgiving and praise.  Verse 14 and 15 says, “Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High.  Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you shall glorify Me.”   Verses 22 and 23 further state, “Now consider this, you who forget God, Lest I tear you in pieces, And there be none to deliver:  Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; And to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God.”  God is really asking His people to not forget Him and to glorify Him in all we do, to examine our lives, and He will show us His salvation.

Oh!  What a joyful blessing to have the Holy Spirit work in and through us!  Please consider taking time to have the Lord examine your life.  Check in with Him often.  Agree with His ways instead of your ways.  In Isaiah 30:15 the Lord says, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” Turn your thinking right side up!  Do not resist those trials!  Thank God for them because trials stretch and grow us!  God has promised He will be with us through our trials.  In Hebrews 13:5 the Lord says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Offer Him a thankful heart – full of praise – through words, song, prayer, etc. which will glorify Him!  The Holy Spirit will bring to you a heart full of hope, peace and joy that only He can give – all combined – to prepare us to receive His will in and through our lives!

 

 

 

 

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Filled With Joy

by Sarah Langness

You know what I love? I love the sound of my baby boy’s giggle when he rides on his daddy’s shoulders. I love the pure joy that lights up his face after I round the kitchen island in a game of peek-a-boo chase. I love hearing him make truck sounds as he pushes anything with a wheel. As a mom, hearing those sounds – as well as the countless other babbles, screeches, and songs – fills my heart with joy. I never get tired of it. And I can’t help but think that maybe the Lord feels the same way.

Maybe the same joy that I experience as I watch my son explore, giggle, learn and grow is the same joy that fills the Lord’s heart as we follow Him – as we truly follow Him. As we put feet to our faith. As we love on those who go unnoticed. As we clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

I know we don’t do good deeds to earn God’s favor. We can’t earn our salvation based on the number of times we made Him smile. His love for us isn’t based upon such things. But I can’t help but think His heart is filled with joy as we carry the love of Jesus to the world. As we live as His hands and feet. As we obey even when it’s difficult.

So, how about we put a smile on our Father’s face today?

“Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and in truth. We will know by this that we are of the truth . . .” – 1 John 3:18-19

“I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.” – 3 John 1:4

Praying for Your Pastor’s Wife-Day 2

Pray that she will cultivate strong character and uncompromising integrity. Pray that her
testimony will be genuine, and that she will guard her heart.

But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 1 Tim 1:5

And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.  1 Tim 3:7

Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.  Prov 4:23

Taken from Revive Our Hearts

Editor’s Note:  The prayer posts for Pastor and Pastor’s wife are the same now, but have no fear, they will be different in the days coming up!  We are including the Scripture for you to meditate upon and to use.  Praying scripture is one of the best ways to pray for God’s will.