In the past two or three years I've experienced some circumstances in my life that definitely have not happened in the way I would have EVER planned! I've not blogged about them... maybe someday I will. Have you ever noticed that life can serve you bad deal after bad deal? Just when you get over one thing something completely different yet disheartening surprises you.
In those times it's easy to begin to complain. Things aren't right. Things aren't fair. Does God even care? Complaining. I think I've been doing some of that. Not out loud so much, but deep down I've been frustrated.
I'm so glad God doesn't give up on us when we are frustrated and complaining. He has reminded me the importance of a thankful heart. The importance of thanking Him in the trial, even thanking Him FOR the trial! This could be the very thing He uses to bring about a greater maturity and strength in us as well as something better for our lives than that thing we're so disappointed over.
I read a couple of qoutes yesterday that grabbed my heart and brought me to repentance again. God's been dealing with me on this for a couple of months now!
"Let thankfulness temper all your thoughts." "A grateful attitude becomes a grid through which you perceive life." ~Sarah Young
Wow. I would much rather perceive my life through a grateful attitude than a cynical, hurt, and broken one. How much happier my days would be, and how much happier those around me would be!
What about you? Has life served you some bad deals? I hope you find encouragement in this. It is not natural to be grateful. I think it's something we have to practice and practice until it becomes natural. It's something we have to constantly go to God in prayer over asking Him for strength and help. When our grateful attitude finally overrides the hurt, the questions, and the complaining we begin to find that our joy returns. That ability to truly smile and laugh return.
So that's my prayer today. Here are a few scriptures to ponder.
"And do not grumble, as some of them did - and were killed by the destroying angel."
1 Corinthians 10:10
"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our 'God is a consuming fire.'"
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4