Live Without Complaining

Happy week of Thanksgiving!  I wanted to take extra time this week to be thankful.  I know this is something that I need to do more.  Gratitude is even proven to be effective in helping with health issues (there are many medical studies).

Today’s verse was chosen by a friend of mine when I asked for thankfulness verses.  I know how easy it can be to complain when days are tough.  I also know the struggle of putting negative things in their place.  I am not going to lie about challenges – pretending they are no big deal.  However, it is too easy to get stuck in negative thinking.  There is nothing worse than someone who is constantly negative.  Thankfulness can bring refreshing joy despite challenges. 

I will continue to spend my life working through how to be honest about negative things and grateful at the same time.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for providing instruction on how to handle difficulties.  Please forgive my complaining.  Please give me wisdom to deal honestly with trials, but not be trapped in grumbling.  Thank You for the many blessings You give.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Bad Weather Anyone?

Living in Minne”snow”ta, I expect bad weather.  Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, we had a lot of heavy, wet snow.  I confess that after getting over 50” of snow last February (plus more the rest of the winter), I did not look forward to snow this winter.  So, in order to remember thankfulness this week, I had to do a lot of praying. 

I enjoy having snow on the ground in the winter.  The ground looks prettier – and let’s face it, who doesn’t like a white Christmas?  It is the difficulty of clearing the snow from my driveway that I don’t like.  It can be hard to do. 

When I encounter tasks like snow removal, that cause me difficulties, I spend time in prayer.  I have to admit, clearing my driveway at the end of a hard day can be therapeutic.  I can burn calories and negative emotions in the same shovel swing.

We know in this life there will be things that attack our attitude of gratitude.  We know from the Bible and many life blessings, that God is good.

God is so good.

When You’re Sick of Being Sick

Health issues can be so heavy they topple us.  Some health issues are a tough inconvenience, while others change the course of our lives.  Being sick challenges our desire to give thanks to God.

While health issues can make it hard to be thankful, God has shown me ways to find gratitude.  I can start with the fact the Jesus Christ died for my sins. His gift of salvation is easy to be thankful for.

2 Corinthians 12:9 gives us help in our weakness.  “But he said to me, ‘My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me.”

Health issues cause physical weakness.  When we lose what we are used to having, we are more likely to cry out to God for help. Then He shows us so much more to be thankful for.

God is so good.

When it is Hard to Be Thankful

I have made a tradition of posting 5 days of being thankful the week of Thanksgiving.  I want to continue that tradition, but in a little bit different way.  This year, I am going to write about times when I struggle being thankful.  Don’t worry.  This won’t be a negative week.  I will also share what God has taught me about being thankful when it is hard.

Today I want to start with James 1:2 “My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials”.

I definitely struggle counting trials joy.  They hurt; they are uncomfortable; they are not easy to navigate.  I prefer what I know and understand.  Trials are territory that I do not know.  However, God tells us to “consider it nothing but joy”.  How do I go from the struggle to joy?  By looking at what James 1 tells us next.  Verses 3-4 say, “because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything.”  We can’t always see the benefit of the trial while we are going through it.  However, God has promised that our trials will help to perfect us. God always keeps His promises.  Read His word and talk to Him (pray).  You will see God’s faithfulness.

When I struggle with difficulties, I remember what God has said in His word and look back at how He has fulfilled that in my life.  That thinking draws me closer Christ and helps me think about how I can be thankful.

God is so good.

Single or Married

I wonder how many clicks I will get on this blog post link. I have been surprised at the extent of people’s interest in articles about marital status. I suppose I shouldn’t be, but my thoughts on this topic don’t seem to fit what I hear from many…both single and married.

While I can experience desire for the joys of marriage, I crave acceptance for my singleness more. God has chosen singleness for me and I do not want to change His choice. God has blessed me through friendships, children’s ministry, etc. and I know I have not missed out.

I have seen numerous articles on singleness – I was hoping to write my own. However, the blog in the link below is so well written – a Biblically balanced view – and I decided to share this article.

https://www.reviveourhearts.com/true-woman/blog/singleness-own-it/?fbclid=IwAR1tetE4RmaEeYB9EtVQQos918GD8c36OnfWP01KVZeLVAgQbqnWs5Zfz8w

My word for this year is prayer. How does that apply to marital status? We need to pray for a proper view of marital status.  You cannot have a Biblical view of marriage without a Biblical view of singleness.  I pray God’s name is honored in my singleness.

Just

Keep

Praying

Choices and Prayer

I was thinking last night about choices. We have a lot of freedom to make the choices we want. Along with that freedom of choice comes the freedom to experience the consequences. We don’t like negative consequences. We only want the happiness we think our choices will bring.

Friend, I pray you are aware of the direction your choices take you. The only way to make good choices is to take time daily to ask God to guide us. When we submit to His guidance, we will be more joyful and content with the decisions we make.

Keep pleading in prayer.

Give Us Today Our Daily Bread

After taking time to praise God, Jesus comes to requests. He tells us to ask for our needs to be met. This is a simple enough statement, but as flawed human beings we like to complicate matters. We too often ask for wants as though they were needs. We also ask for more than our daily needs. I believe in planning ahead, but I think we can fall into the trap of asking for more than is reasonable.

So when we pray for our needs, we should allow God to guide our prayers. He will show us what our needs truly are and then He will provide.

May Your Kingdom Come

I had a little bit of trouble finding information about this phrase. The basic Bible study tools that I own didn’t have much information. However, the Kindle version of the New English Translation (with full notes) had a well worded explanation.

“Your kingdom come represents the hope for the full manifestation of God’s promised eschatological rule reflected in the OT prophetic literature, the ongoing hope of the Jewish people, a hope which is subsumed by Christianity.”

Those of us who serve Jesus look forward to positive future times as described in the book of Revelation. The hope that we have is not just wishful thinking. Hope in God’s Word is a guarantee. He will always do what He says. God never fails.

This phrase of the Lord’s prayer shows a willingness to allow God to work towards something He has promised will happen. We need to cooperate with His will. And friends – when we allow ourselves to be open to God’s way, we are more likely to be satisfied. God’s gifts are always the best.

Who Owns Everything

With Thanksgiving coming in a little over a month, I think it helps to remember who owns everything.  The greatness, power, glory, victory, and majesty belong to God.  Too often we want the greatness – and then we will be thankful.  However, there is more to be thankful for when we realize despite the fact that we deserve nothing but punishment, God still wants to have a relationship with us and bestow good gifts on us (James 1:17).

God is so good.

1 Chronicles 29 11