A thought popped into my head the other day, amongst the millions of irrelevant or harmful ones that daily course into my brain. I know it was a God thought. I have done a lot of "gritching" lately. (Combo of the word "griping" and the word for a female dog.) I have issues with chronic pain which often puts me into a less than cheerful state. Often times where I live, the weather is gloomy, and it affects me. There have been ongoing trials in my life and I tend to feel sorry for myself. I am ashamed to admit these things because I have the Word of God available to me for access 24/7. No excuse.
The thought was: What if every time I grumbled I would immediately replace it by giving thanks? Paul tells us:
1Th 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
He did not say, in some things did he? Well then, I guess this could include when things don't go my way, like when I repeatedly drop things and have to bend over and get them, even if I hurt. Or if a situation doesn't change, even if I have prayed for years about it. Or if I see chaos everywhere. No, God is sovereign. He knows every detail of my life, and if I love Him (and ONLY if I love Him) He promises to work every apparently "bad" situation in my life for the good. (Romans 8:28) In that I can truly rejoice!!
Sometime thoughts come in and they go out just as quickly. But this one has managed to stay with me for a little while now. It is my prayer that it will not leave me. (That is, the giving of thanks whenever I find myself getting mad, which I admit, is often.)
I was so blessed at church this Sunday, a guest pastor stood in for our regular pastor, both of whom are tremendous teachers of the Word. He mentioned the Beatitudes. When Jesus talked about the poor in spirit being blessed in Matthew 5: 3, He used the word "ptochos." It is from the Strong's Lexicon of the Greek New Testament #4434. It means:
1) reduced to beggary, begging, asking alms
2) destitute of wealth, influence, position, honour
a) lowly, afflicted, destitute of the Christian virtues and eternal riches
b) helpless, powerless to accomplish an end
c) poor, needy
3) lacking in anything
a) as respects their spirit
(I copied and pasted this from the Blue Letter Bible website, a free online Bible study source.)http://www.blueletterbible.org/index.cfm
We have to see ourselves that way. It was the first Beatitude! Blessed are we when we see ourself that way! The Pharisees hated Jesus because they thought they were respectable. When we realize grace is ALL OF GOD and none of us, then we really can thank Him for everything.
Jam 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
That includes our little everyday trials. God wants to reward us in eternity. If we can bless and thank Him instead of grumbling, He will be able to do so. This is just an insight He has shown me. Yesterday I was working around the house pretty hard and everytime something happened that tempted me to get mad, I was reminded to thank Him and it made all the difference. I didn't do it perfectly, not at all, but it did make such a change in my attitude and outlook. It energized me.
Oh Lord, my prayer is that I will not forget this. I am daily bombarded with information overload. Bring this to my remembrance today and everyday, Amen.