Gratitude is a Divine Emotion—it Fills the Heart!

How can you know that God is with you when the world around you is in total chaos? What would you like to hear or see to comfort you and give you peace in these uncertain moments? Sometimes, when your world is spinning around you, even prayers and thankfulness become a battle and it feels like God is far, far from you. Yet, practicing even a quick moment of gratitude has the power to bring you to a deeper level of understanding of your situation. It comforts you and deepens your relationship with God. 

Most of my one-on-one conversations [Prayers and praise] with God happen when I go for a long walk at the beach by myself.  One day as I was walking, I began my prayers with a heavy heart. Tears, and worries—the “why, what, and how long” of my situation filled my thoughts… But soon things shifted.

I asked, “Lord, please let me hear you. What I should do? Why is there so much pain, hatred, and heartache …?” I wasn’t sure if I would get my answer right away. Then, to my surprise, I heard “I love you”. It was like a breeze. It wasn’t the answer I was waiting for; it wasn’t exactly the solution to my battle, but it was all I needed to hear, which is all that matters. As I humbly embraced the answer to my questions, I began to wrap myself with an attitude of gratitude. And honestly, the worry, sadness, and heaviness of heart began to dissipate. Knowing that God loves me was more than enough. I had the assurance everything else would eventually fall into place.  At that point I started to thank God, praising and worshiping him instead of complaining. By hearing those three magic words, “I love you”, I received the peace of God. The bottom line is: My problems and daily struggles did not immediately cease to exist, but my attitude of gratitude was enough to find peace in the midst of my struggle and hope for an eventual resolution.

My friend, not only do we need to express gratefulness to for our relationship with the Divine Spirit, we develop compassion and humility when we learn to be thankful for someone else’s kindness and care. When you get a phone call from someone who wants to check on you, or when you receive a text saying they’re praying for you, or you receive a warm meal while you’re sick in bed, or someone sends you followers; it all tells you that someone cares about you. You’re loved and valued. Practice gratefulness for their act of generosity in reaching out to you.

God cares even more about your well being. Because of his love for you, he sent Jesus who is the embodiment of God himself [his son], and he died on the cross for the sins of the whole world. So, when you come to accept Jesus as your savior, your sins are forgiven. Again, because he took your sins and died on the cross, you can have eternal and abundant life. That’s called love—no condemnation, no judgement, and no hidden agenda.

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.”

When you and your loved ones are suffering, or you have a financial crisis, or marital problems, or other broken relationships, and you feel like nothing seems within your control, don’t lose hope. The good news is that God’s in the midst of your turmoil. You mattered to him yesterday, and you matter to him today, tomorrow, and the day after … What will your response be to God who is with you in your darkest hours? It should be thankfulness—you are not thanking God for your pain and adversity, but you acknowledge that He is sovereign and will never leave you or forsake you. You are thanking God because he is a good and loving God and he will use your situation for his purposes, bringing good out of even bad circumstances. Remember, there is a reason for everything that happens.

What are you THANKFUL for in such a time as this?

… And Then God Stepped in and Said, “You are Mine.”

“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.” [Isaiah 43: 1]

God has summoned us by our names to belong to him and claim his name. We are all important to him. Some of us have responded to His calling, but some haven’t…  When we bear God‘s wonderful name, we must never do anything that would bring shame to it. 

The question is: What’s your calling in life? Or, how do you know if your calling is from God? As for me, I did not have the answer to this question in the past. I didn’t know, until God stepped in and said, “You’re mine”.

Like so many others, I wanted to know my purpose in life. I wanted to free myself from the bars which had enclosed me. But I couldn’t do it by my own effort, I needed a bigger power. So here, I would like to share a small part of my testimony with you. 

While I was craving for freedom from the chains of the world and the flesh, heaven was calling me, with new visions to consider. I dreamt I was sitting at the foot of a mountain for quite a long time. God was offering me a journey up to the top of the mountain. I meditated, prayed, and pondered if I should take the path God was offering me. When I woke up, I knew in my heart God was telling me, “Get up, it’s time to move.” I asked myself, “Do I want to stay here in this land of pain, in a land filled with empty promises, selfishness, fear, pretentiousness, and deception, or should I take this journey—a walk up to a path with signs pointing to hidden treasures along the way?” The treasures were love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I had no doubt that this path was filled with truth! I was eager to know my purpose in life, I wanted to know how to live a life filled with enduring peace.

I began my journey by making some difficult changes which needed to occur. These changes manifested themselves as crawling in my next vision. Moving slowly on my hands and knees up a steep road, the crawl in my dream mirrored the struggles that I was having in real life. I wanted to release myself from the stronghold of the world’s distractions and bondage. To be free from the need to always please others or the desires of my own flesh. To live my life concerned only with pleasing God. For I knew that if I could obtain this freedom, everything else would fall into place. Spiritual freedom sounds so incredibly sweet – sweet as honey and precious as a jewel. The craving for such a jewel was overwhelming! So I pressed forward in faith. There were many turns, twists and even a few setbacks. But it was in the detours that I learned the biggest lessons! I was slowly getting to know myself and others, and most importantly, I was beginning to know my God.  

During this journey I was completely aware of the visible world. But I needed to put all my trust into what I could not see with my eyes. How was I able to continue to trust and keep moving forward toward the heavenly promises? Praise God! I had an army of godly people who were each on their own unique journey, praying and supporting me. They all were witnessing God’s miraculous work in my life. I was getting fixed from the inside out. 

The changes were happening as the Lord was unveiling His mystery. I could hear that the “deep” was calling to the depths of my soul. (Psalm 119:45) “I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.”

The journey of the dark night of the soul was over, and I heard God said, “You are mine!”

A calling from God will always be accompanied by His peace, as well as anything else we need. Sometimes God will ask us to do something big or scary, and while we may feel afraid, our fears will be met by God’s overwhelming grace and peace to do whatever it is He’s asking us to do. He will also never call us to do something without equipping us to do the thing He’s asking us to do. Read (Matthew 11:28-30, Philippians 4:7) and you will be blessed.