The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings! -Henry Ward Beecher
Remember my post about 2011 and my resolutions? You can find it here. I talked about some areas God laid on my heart,and I am so eager to share more with you. Thanks for being patient while I waited for the go ahead. :)
I guess it all started back in November when I read Lindsay's post about being radically thankful. I felt the Spirit digging around in my heart. And I knew,change was a comin'.
The amazing thing about God is that when you're willing,He will show you the weakness in your heart.
Hey,Lindsay,got a minute? Let's take a walk..I want to show you some sin in your life.
So,one day the Lord invited me to look at some filthiness in my inner workings. The culprit? An ungrateful heart.
I started thinking about joy and how a truly joyful person never complains,but is always finding blessings around them. I've often heard it said that life is 10% circumstance,and 90% how you respond to it. (Ok,so I actually heard Sarah Palin say that on Fox News last month when talking about her camping trip with Kate Gosselin. But,I digress.)
I'm constantly talking to Julianna about a happy heart,but how happy was my OWN heart? How thankful was I for the blessings God was constantly pouring over me?
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength. -Proverbs 17:22
And friends,here is what the Lord printed on my heart that day.
It's not about what you want,it's about what you have.
Where did that hit you? In the gut....? Kinda hard,like a fist? Me,too.
What we have is an Almighty God who gave us His ONLY son,to die on the cross for OUR sins. And all because He loves us. (John 3:16)
What we have is a Savior who was "pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities" so that "by His wounds we are healed." (Hebrews 13:5)
What we have is the promise of eternal life,if only we call upon the name of the Lord. (Romans 10:13)
What we have is a loving Father who has great plans for our life! (Jeremiah 29:11)
What we have is salvation,what we want is irrelevant.
I must admit,when God revealed these things to me,I was stunned. How awful it is to see your dirt and grudge laid out in front of you. It brought me to my knees! I knew that I could not allow this to be a stronghold in my life. I also knew that I would have to draw my strength and joy from a merciful Father.
The joy of the Lord is our strength. - Nehemiah 8:10
I am weak,and on my own can not accomplish much. It is only with fervent prayer and submission that I can be the joyful woman God has called me to be. Oh,don't be deceived. I am struggling. There are no victory flags waving yet. I am a wild horse,and the Lord is lovingly breaking my spirit to unveil His beauty. Just this week,I fell into a pity-party,a depression over some very minor things in my life. How quickly! I was even a little amazed at myself with how fast I began to question God once things started going downhill.
I am in a fight. I am in the ring with my ungrateful heart on a daily basis,and I am choosing to see JOY. I am choosing to name my blessing no matter where I am,or what enemy I am up against. I am going to place my burdens on the Lord,knowing that His plan is better than mine. I am going to be thankful,for every trial He gives me,because I know there is a purpose in the pain.
And so,I want to leave you with this verse. I am meditating on it daily. It is printed on my heart,and I am calling it up every.single.day.
Give thanks in all circumstances,for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. - 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Thank you for allowing me to share my sin with you. James 5:16 says 'confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed...' If you are reading this today,and don't know about the amazing love of our Lord Jesus Christ,or you have a specific prayer request you want to share with me,feel free to e-mail me at LindsNJuli@aol.com. I would love to talk more with you.
PS- Check out Ann Voskamp's book 'A Thousand Gifts' about having a thankful heart! You can find it here.