Today, I awoke thinking, "Life is but a vapor, here today, gone tomorrow; may I never waste the breath God's granted me, by uttering shallow complaints...For even if my health, wealth, and worldly gain be stripped away, I can ever hold fast to the awaited promise of my salvation!"
If we want to rise above life's circumstances we must practice giving "THANKS"!
Today's Word is Thankfulness!
Philippians 4:4-7 says, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving , present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (New International Version)
Of all the apostles, Paul quite arguably had the most right to be discouraged or complain. Five times, Scripture said he was left for dead, beaten so severely his attackers thought he'd died. His boat shipwrecked. Authorities put him into prison. But Paul learned the secret of soaring above life's circumstance.
Read what he wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:7-18, "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed...It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (New International Version)
Friends, we live for something far greater than our own life. OUR HOPE, OUR CALL, is to fix our eyes on what is unseen and what is eternal!
Today, I had to ask myself, "What are you living for? Is it for worldly gain? For the here and now? For immediate spiritual anointing and blessings?" OR is it to honor and praise THE ONE WHO gave it all for me? I had to search my heart to see if I lived for getting or giving?
When we abandon ourselves to God's cause, take up our cross and follow Him regardless of the cost, and thank Him for HIS PRESENCE and the HOPE of our salvation, we too can declare like Paul..."We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed!"
May we learn to practice THANKFULNESS in our hearts at all times. As we do, we will joyfully rise above life's circumstances and live life abundantly!
PRAYER: Father, of course we would love to live free from persecution and pressures, but even more so, we want to live thankful lives. Thank You for the hope of our salvation. Thank You for the breath You just gave us to breathe. Thank You that You will never leave us or forsake us. Thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit. Fill us today with Your Power and Your Presence. May Your peace, joy, and love overflow in our hearts. IN JESUS name and authority we pray! AMEN!
Original Article, November 22, 2010, His Love Extended
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