Good morning to all,
There are many of you who might not see hope where there actually is hope! Gratitude is seeing joy of some sort in every situation that happens throughout our lives! Do any of you know anyone that has a strange force of joy even though they are faced with crippling and life consuming illnesses? There once was a lady that could no longer move her arms and legs, yet she would say, "I'm just so happy I can move my neck." When she could no longer move her neck, she would say, "I'm just so glad I can hear and see." When asked what would happen if she lost her sound and sight, she simply said, "I'll just be so grateful that you come to visit." When you have a heart of gratitude, you simply can defy all odds and respond in a way that will be pleasing to the Father in every situation!! It is easy to be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives, but to be grateful for all of our lives---the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections---that requires hard Spiritual work. When we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment, then we are truly grateful people. And we know God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28)! A lot of today's devotional is taken from Brennan Manning's book Ruthless Trust. I encourage you to read anything by him because he has a way of painting such a picture that it is very easy to reach out and feel as though you are in the protrait! My mother is probably the best living example that I know that continues to live a life of gratitude worthy of our Savior! She has had a number of crippling illnesses and setbacks yet she continues to amaze me as she endures whatever life seems to throw at her. And she never seems to stop praising her Savior! Shingles, breast cancer, scoliosis, a corked spine as well as a curved spine, a grand daughter murdered, 85 plus years of wear and tear!! She taught me the importance of prayer and to always give thanks to God, because this is what God expects you to do in Christ Jesus (1 Thess. 5:18). As you start your day, ask God to check your heart for where you are at and ask Him to 'radically change you to be like Him'! If we know how to respond to a world that is totally against Him, maybe it will be our heart that He uses to get through to them!
Your brother in Christ,