Friday, November 21, 2008

Do you have a heart of thanksgiving?

There is a song by Casting Crowns which is called “I will praise you in this storm”. I listen to it often and I am reminded that this is what we are to do in the midst of life’s storms. We are to remember, like Job did in the midst of loosing everything he had, to say “‘The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.’ In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.” Job 1:21,22.

We all know this is how, as Christians, we are to respond. The difficulty comes when we are faced with the reality of the storm and find ourselves fretting and fearful. How can we turn a heart that is fretting into a heart that is resting with thanksgiving? The simple answer is “the just shall walk by faith”. As Jesus reminded the disciples in the midst of the storm "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" Mark 4:40.

Do we see the storms of life as gifts of mercy or do we see them as interruptions and failures which cause us to be ungrateful and fearful? How can we truly be thankful and say with David “It is good for me that I have been afflicted” Ps 119:71.

We must view the storms the same way we view the blessings of God. They all come from a hand of loving kindness. They are gifts of mercy toward us for what they produce in us, if we see them through eyes of faith. When we see the blessings of God we are quick to be thankful for His lovingkindness but when we are afflicted we are not so quick to be thankful. I have to ask, are we truly thankful when we see the blessings or has that in itself stemmed from selfishness (my happiness, my comfort)?

As John Piper puts it, faith is as easy as dropping the nut. We must drop the fears and frustrations before we can lay hold of the Savior. We must look at what the cross of Christ gave us and look at it fully before we are able to rest our hearts in thanksgiving. Has not God said “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, For in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength.” Isa 26: 3, 4. Do you see what that verse is saying? Who keeps us in perfect peace? How is that done?

Cultivate a heart of thanksgiving by looking at the loveliness of Christ and you will have a heart of thanksgiving during the storms. May it be a true heart of thanksgiving not one that bloomed from selfishness.

Let me leave you with a hymn to sing in your hearts.

Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and blessèd peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills, in this world and the next!

All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given;
The Son and Him Who reigns with Them in highest Heaven;
The one eternal God, whom earth and Heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.


Mrs. Higgins

2 comments:

Miss Blair said...

Mrs. Higgins,

Thank you so much for that post. What a wonderful way to go into the week of Thanksgiving!

May the Lord bless you this week!

With much rejoicing for the great things He has done,

Sarah

Lily said...

Thank you, thank you!