Day Three, Quote #3
“Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it.”
– A. W. Tozer
The scriptures speak much on the subject of gratitude; of giving thanks. Here is just a sampling:
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col. 3:15-17 NIV).
How are we at being thankful? How am I doing with that? I had to ask myself that question today after I read this quote by Tozer. So, I asked the Lord to help me to be completely honest with myself, too. For, I want to be a person who is grateful, who is appreciative of all that God has given me and done for me, and who is thankful in all things, good or bad.
I think that when people do nice things for us, or we are treated kindly, or when things in our lives are going well, it is easy for us to be thankful, though not everyone is. In fact, the scriptures speak of a time when people will be “lovers of themselves… ungrateful, unholy… lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power,” etc. (See: 2 Tim. 3:1-5).
But, what about when people hurt us, misuse us, take advantage of us, trick us, persecute us, gossip about us and/or slander us? How are we at being thankful then? What about when we are sick or injured, or when we lose a job, or our car breaks down, or someone cuts us off in traffic? Or, when we end up with more bills than we have money for in the bank? What do the scriptures say about that?
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:4-7 NIV).
Does that speak conviction to your heart? It does to mine!
I think, for the most part, I am generally a thankful person, though the Lord is free to correct me on that, if I am not, and to show me if I am or I am not. But, I am not always thankful, nor am I always thankful in every situation. I have always struggled with those scriptures which speak of leaping for joy when persecuted and mistreated and counting it all joy when we go through various trials which try our faith.
I don’t resist being joyful, though maybe I do sometimes, and if I do, I need to correct that. I just know that I have to be reminded sometimes to be joyful and to count it all joy and to be glad that I am counted worthy to suffer for the sake of the name of Jesus and for the sake of the gospel. Yet, I do believe we can cry, and that we should cry out our pain and suffering to God, but then we should allow him to fill us with his joy, and not insist on remaining miserable.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:16-18).
I don’t know about you, but I know that I still have room to grow in this area, and I believe that is why God drew me to this quote. I need to rejoice more, and give thanks more “in all circumstances,” not just in the good ones. I need to not let life’s difficulties get me down. I know I must regularly remind myself that God is absolutely sovereign over all that he has made, and that includes me and you. He is in control. He has power over all. And, he allows what he allows, and forbids what he forbids, and if he allows it, he will get me through it, and he will grow me through it, too, for his glory.
Satan wants to rob us of our joy. We must not let him!
Now I would like to nominate Cindy for the 3 Day Quote Challenge. Cindy is another encourager. She loves Jesus and she has spent many years ministering for the Lord in the lives of others. What she shares with us is so real, so down to earth, and so practical and applicable to our lives, and she does so with such grace, too.
The rules of this challenge are as follows:
Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
For 3 days, provide a quote each day and why you like or chose that quote.
Nominate one or more bloggers each of the three days for the Challenge and then send them a comment letting them know they have been nominated.
(When you receive a nomination, if you’re too busy, you can do it later if need be.)
Again, I want to thank Amy for nominating me for the 3 Day Quote Challenge. Amy continues to bless my heart with her love for Jesus and for other people. I love her openness, honesty and sincerity of faith.