Here we go again, you might say, another lesson on gratitude. Strangely, though, despite that many times I’ve studied the topic, there’s something I’ve been missing:
There’s a powerful connection between gratitude and powerful living.
See, I’ve been listening to my conversations lately, and the words I hear myself speaking are not pleasant.
Complaints. Impatience. Annoyance. Worldly concerns.
I’ve been blessed to see the power of praise in my life, so why do I so often forget to be grateful? And now that I’m thinking about it—where has my joy gone? Didn’t I write an entire book about God’s blessings in the face of disability and despair?
You would think that I would have learned this lesson by now.
The Bible says that “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
Look more closely at that verse and you will see that the word “strength” here is (Ma`owz), which means:
“place or means of safety, protection, refuge, stronghold
… a refuge (of God).”
Since the Word of God is Truth, shouldn’t I choose thanksgiving over complaints, all the more on my darker days? On days when the reality of my situation would lead me to despair and hopelessness?
Choosing joy over ingratitude brings me to a place of safety, protection and refuge.
There’s God’s infallible promise, written clearly in Nehemiah. It’s a gift from God and a secret to overcoming.
Here’s a secret that I learned from singer and songwriter Laura Story. In her song “Blessings,” Laura sings:
What if…the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise?
I think Laura is on to something. Our trials and sorrows lead us to God. And that is where we need to be.
So let gratitude flow. Be joyful and you’ll find God’s safety, protection and refuge.
Postnote: Want to hear Laura Story talk about the story behind the song “Blessings?”Just click here.
Latest posts by Kelly Langston (see all)
- Have a Merry, Messy Christmas! - December 22, 2015
- Gratitude: God’s Secret Pathway to Protection - November 24, 2015
- Will It Be All Right? (And What if You Aren’t Sure?) - October 28, 2015