Sometimes it can be really hard for me to be thankful. Even in the midst of wonderful things going on around me, I have the terrible impulse to zero-in on what's going "wrong", i.e. what's not going "my way". There are times when I think I have been patient enough and thankful enough for long enough and I finally have a right to be ungrateful.
The truth is, I never have that right. Even in the midst of pain, despair, loss, hurt, grief, disappointment .. God's calls me to rejoice, to be thankful. And the beautiful thing is that God loves me and cares about my joys AND my griefs, and He wants to give me the eternal perspective to be able to face both with courage and hope.
I was impacted recently by an excerpt from A Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent. He says "The more absorbed I am in the gospel, the more grateful I become in the midst of my circumstances, whatever they may be... The gospel reminds me first that what I actually deserve from God is a full cup churning with the torments of His wrath. This is the cup that would be mine to drink if I were given what I deserve each day. With this understanding in mind, I see that to be handed a completely empty cup from God would be cause enough for infinite gratitude If there were merely the tiniest drop of blessing contained in that otherwise empty cup, I should be blown away by the unbelievable kindness of God toward me. That God, in fact, has given me a cup that is full of "every spiritual blessing in Christ," and this without the slightest admixture of wrath, leaves me truly dumbfounded with inexpressible joy..."
Only with my eyes turned toward God and what He has done, what He has saved me from and saved me into, am I at last enabled to be continually thankful.
"... I WILL MAGNIFY HIM WITH THANKSGIVING"
1. Thinking on what Milton Vincent said, I am thankful that God's cup runs over with spiritual blessings on my life. He shows me love and grace and forgiveness and eternal life though His Son.
2. I'm thankful today that I am spared from the wrath that I deserve.
3. I am thankful for my husband Andy who loves God and myself deeply. I know Andy would give his life for me and I can't think of a better picture of God's great love for me.
4. I'm thankful for all the laughter in my life because of the people that are in it.
5. I'm thankful that our NZ Immigration Officer acted on our visa application quickly. And even though we aren't approved yet, she let us know exactly what she is looking for. I am most thankful about this because it reminds me that God is the one in control and He wants to help us learn to trust in Him more and more.