Gratitude Calms The Chaos!  

C04DFBEE-59B9-46A5-AFD9-120A0D36EC61It’s easy to be grateful when everything in life is going well and events unfold according to your desires and plans.  But how do you react when you’re in a state of great distress? Are you still grateful?

Someone once asked me, “How can you thank God when you’re in the midst of turmoil?” I said, “Let’s look at the choices I have.  I can be miserable, worried and angry. Or, I can give up my ways and surrender to the One who is in charge of every breath I take.”  It’s very difficult to praise and thank God in the midst of turmoil, when you or your loved ones are suffering and nothing seems within your control. We are not thanking God for our pains and adversity, but we acknowledge that He is sovereign and He will never leave us or forsake us. We are thanking God because He is a good and loving God and He will use our situation for His purposes, bringing good out of even bad circumstances.

Surrendering with thankfulness is a difficult inner battle that we all must fight. Cultivating a grateful spirit leads us first to salvation, and then to an ever deepening level of relationship with God.  As a result, we will feel His peace and find a place of rest, knowing God has our back.  God doesn’t want His involvement in our lives restricted to just one area.  He wants us to submit completely, with every ounce of our being to Him. Give Him the sacrifice of thanksgiving.

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” (Psalm 107:1)

One of the great teachers in our church taught me the following truth: “It is the attitude of gratitude that can change lives.” It was God’s perfect timing for me to hear that message when I did. One of my loved ones was suffering with an illness. I kept praying for healing, but my prayers were heavy with heartache and worries. As I began to embrace an attitude of gratitude, the worry, sadness, and heaviness lost its power over me.  As I started thanking God, praising and worshiping Him instead of complaining, not only did I receive the peace of God, but also my love one’s suffering began to lessen. 

The Bible says in (Philippians 4:6)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Gratitude brings acceptance, clarity, peace, and beautiful moments…

Advertisements

A Particle of Dust!

In order for great beauty to rise from ashes, a gem [someone or something precious] first must burn. In other words, restoration and reformation will happen after a person has been through difficulty or apparent calamity. 

The familiar story of a woman who eagerly waited to know the purpose of her life and to be lifted up from the ashes of this world comes to my mind. 

Her story may not be unique, many can relate to her pain. As this woman sought to fulfill her purpose, the ride of life took her through layers and layers of adversity and distraction.  At times, she felt as though she was walking through the remains of a fire — a fire caused by misguided early life-choices. The haze from the embers made her wonder if she herself was a particle of ashy dust.

In spite of the tug-of-war that she felt within her, she had come to realize that she must muster the courage to stop bowing to others wishes and stop listening to the lies, and instead let the Spirit of righteousness dust off the ashes of her painful journey. 

While she was hoping for a power to lift her out of the land of pain, heaven was calling her. She knew in her heart that God was telling her, “Get up, it’s time to move and rise.” She fearfully pondered whether to stay in the land of pain or allow God to raise her up and take her to a place unknown to her but known by Him, according to His mysterious plan. 

Although the smoke around her was dimming her sight, she was still aware of the hope of the Invisible World [Heaven]. The Word of God says, whoever will draw near to God, He will draw near to them. Trusting His Word, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, she started moving toward God. As she did, He began to reveal His mystery to her.

She could hear that the “Deep” was calling to the depth of her soul, encouraging her to keep walking. She kept her focus on the Light that was beaming through the dusty air. Suddenly, something stirred within her, giving her strength. Instead of walking, she started running to the Light. As she did, the wall of embers started crashing down. The world around her began to witness God’s miraculous work in her life. She was being transformed from the inside out. She was no longer walking in the valley of ashes, but rather walking under the shadow of the Lord’s beauty.

BELIEVE AND TRUST, GOD’S STORY NEVER ENDS WITH “ASHES.”

“God takes our ashes and gives us beauty. “ (Isaiah 61:3)

EE208154-BDF2-424C-AC48-56D170C90B8D.jpeg