Today I am grateful for…
Truth God speaks to me through His Word, even when it’s not the specific truth I’m wanting to hear. Receiving God’s truth – not my hand-picked, preferred truth, but what my loving heavenly Father wants to teach me through my circumstances – is a blessing even when it may cause some temporary discomfort.
Earlier this week, I was hurting emotionally. During the same week as our son David’s memorial service, I was diagnosed with an infestation of scabies, with over thirty-five itchy bites around my body, caused by microscopic “human itch mites” (Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis). I was feeling overwhelmed by yet another problem to deal with on top of working through the grief of losing our beloved son David.
In the midst of agitated emotions, I asked God to speak to me through His Word. He spoke and I almost missed His message because it wasn’t what I was wanting to hear.
- I wanted a comforting word. God wanted to teach me that He is in charge, He’s sovereign and I need to yield to His decisions.
- I wanted relief. He wanted spiritual growth.
- I wanted encouragement. He wanted me to accept responsibility for responding to my circumstances in a way that honors Him.
Father, thank You for speaking the truth to our hearts that is tailor-made for where we are currently walking. When Your truth is uncomfortable, please give us the grace to embrace it and grow.
So how do we walk in an attitude of gratitude when we don’t like what God is doing in our lives? When we wish our circumstances were different? When in our emotions we are anything but thankful?
This requires us to look for God’s truths that apply to what we are walking through. Then it calls for us to A. C. T. (All verses in ESV)
A. ACKNOWLEDGE God is God and I am not
“Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’” (Isaiah 46:9-10
C. CONCEDE that His purposes in my situation are for my good.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:28-29)
T. THANK HIM for His character attributes that apply to my circumstances.
For the last five months, as our family has walked through one trial after another as God does a deep work in our lives, one attribute of God has been central in my understanding of what God is doing in my life: the Hebrew word “checed” (חֶסֶד), for which there is no one English word that fully explains it’s meaning. This one Hebrew word includes the ideas of God’s strength, graciousness, loyalty, steadfastness, mercy, love and devotion to His people. The NIV usually translates it “unfailing love,” NASB “lovingkindness,” ESV “steadfast love.” This single Hebrew word is one of God’s most central characteristics, used 240 times throughout the Old Testament.
“All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.” (Psalms 25:10)
Is God wanting to speak truths to you through His Word, possibly truths that aren’t really what you’re wanting to hear? Are you facing a situation that makes it difficult to give thanks to God? Embrace what the Lord is speaking to you. Then A.C.T. on what you are hearing.