“It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy.”
What do you do during times of affliction? Is it “woe is me”, “this isn’t fair”, “why would a loving God allow this to happen”? The Lord already knows our beginning from our end. “But He knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold”. (Job 23:10) He already knows our path! He is, however, fully aware of our afflictions. Since we are given free will the test comes with how we will respond when times are tough. God would not get any glory out of making us His puppets. It’s when we choose ourselves to respond to him, cling to him, and trust in him that his glory shines!
Take an ugly jagged rock. On the outside it’s not much at all. Frankly, what worth would this thing hold? Put that ugly rock into an extreme heat of fire and out comes brilliant, smooth, valuable gold. On the inside there is a brilliance and all it took was the refining fire to work and mold to expose the true value inside. When affliction is upon us we are being refined by the heat and fire. God is working on within us, smoothing and polishing us, and when we come out of hardship we will shine like gold!
Focusing on our obstacles distorts our vision. Recall when the Israelites were sent by Moses and Aaron to check out the land the Lord was giving to them, the one flowing with “milk and honey”. When the team came back to report on what they saw they focused on how strong the people were. They would overtake them, there is no way they would conquer and inhabit that land! (Num. 13:26-33) After 40 years roaming the land and all of the provisions the Lord provided during their journey they still doubted. Unfortunately, we do the same. As many times we are blessed and lifted high we still doubt. We continually rest on our own control and struggle to relinquish that over. Do we really think that [in the end] we will have had full control? God has already devised the plan for us to come out of it, do you trust Him to get you through it?
Jesus, your name alone holds power. You say that all we need to do is ask in your will and it will be done. Search us Lord. Search our whole being and cleanse us from any unrighteousness. Any fears we have are not from you. You did not come to condemn us (John 3:17), but to save. Save us from ourselves! Our tongues are strong weapons, with it so quickly we can destroy somebody. Let us use our words to lift others up. Let us focus on those things that are pure and lovely and for giving praise. We seek an attitude of gratitude as we walk in footsteps alongside yours. Thank you for your leading and guiding, Jesus your name we pray… Bless & Amen.