While many choose to think about how hard, how tough, how “different” this past year has been, I choose to think about how blessed I’ve been, and how blessed I am.
It may be such an old cliché’ to say that we should have “An Attitude of Gratitude,” but, really, especially in light of such difficult, trying times … what better time than now to have this Grateful Attitude. Maybe that’s why it is such an “old” cliché’.
Yes, I look around.
Yes, I see what is happening. Maybe, more importantly, I see what is “trying to happen.”
In a quote I’ll use as a separate posting later, there is one thing I have learned over the past few months:
“If you can change what “normal” is … then, you can change everything.”
It is “normal” at this time of year … and, remember, we are coming off of “Thanksgiving,” an entire holiday meant for us to take a look around us, and realize just how blessed we are … it is the usual endeavor as we end one year and begin “anew,” to look, again, at how blessed we have been, and make plans to improve for the next year.
I see a real situation in which we have become so worried about the future, that we fail to see the past …
“I don’t worry about what the future holds … because I know Who holds the future.”
I am grateful that I have a personal relationship with Jesus.
That HE is my Savior.
HE is my Healer.
HE is my Provider.
He is my Help.
The way the world is going?
It’s been heading that way for a long time.
What matters (there’s that term again) is where I am heading.
In Whom I trust.
It matters Who I trust as my Savior.
It matters Who I trust as my Healer.
It matters Who I trust as my Provider.
It matters Who I trust as my Help.
Now … think about this:
In each of those “Matters” lines, try substituting the word “Trust” for “Believe.”
How about substituting the word “Trust” for “Have.”
It matters who I trust, who I believe, and who I have.
In reality … that may be all that matters.
Let’s put it this way:
“for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able …”
2 Timothy 1:12.
The first part of that verse is the most critical … especially now … and,
especially in light of the “It Matters” lines above.
First and foremost, I know Him.
I know Him.
I don’t know Him as well as He knows me … but, I want to know Him more … better. (Hey, that’s the use, almost, of the phrase “more better.”) It fits.
I speak with Him every day. Multiple times a day, but need to speak to Him more.
How can you have a relationship with someone that you don’t speak with?
That you don’t know?
If there is one thing I have seen this past year, and it pains me, grieves me, saddens me to say this, but one thing I have seen this year is people who I know “know God,” act like they don’t.
I’ve been guilty, yes. What I am really saying is that I have seen fear take the place of … yes … “override” … faith …
So … if you can change what “normal” is, and take their faith away from God …
Then … “someone” will be there, ready to step in with all the answers, all the provisions,
all the “help” they need …
Friends, again, as we look at how blessed we are in this country, please let us realize what is going on in other countries. Yes, as bad as we think it may be here … please … don’t forget how “different” it is in so many other countries. Countries where just owning a Bible can get you the death penalty. If you convert to Christianity, death penalty. Countries where Christians are specifically targeted, persecuted, locked up, and killed … only because they trust Jesus Christ as Savior. Often they are given the opportunity as they face the sword to renounce Christ and live. Countries where entire villages are destroyed, men, women, and children killed by rampaging extremists. This isn’t (while it did happen) last century … last decade (while it did happen) … last year (while it did happen) … but, it is happening today.
I mean, just to own a Bible … your own copy of God’s Word, is such a “taken for granted” freedom in this country … while so many, so many around the globe have never even had this opportunity.
Here’s a link to a story we did on Steve and the Love Packages ministry:
So, for now, and always, I implore you to know Him “more better,” to pray more, to study more, so that you can be more … like Jesus.
That you will “be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5)
And, “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body” (Hebrews 13:3).
Most of all, I pray that you will know Him.
Because, if you know Him, you will trust and believe Him.
Blessing to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.
P.S. “Will you take a moment or two and thank the Lord for his grace and provision?”