In learning to “surrender my shoulds”, God is reminding me that He wants us to give thanks in ALL circumstances.
I asked God to help me see my current health circumstances with eyes filled with thanks. And I remembering that when we learn to see our circumstances with eyes of gratitude, what we are doing is allowing God to transform our thinking which transforms our attitudes.
Ever heard the saying “Have an attitude of gratitude”?
Well this week that is exactly what we are going to do.
I am focusing on thanking God for this time of needing more rest than I used to need.
I am focusing on thanking God for this time of slowing down and being forced to not get so busy that I can’t appreciate the gift of each moment of this life.
Tonight’s devotion is about just that. Learning to give thanks in all circumstances…instead of focusing so much on asking God to change our circumstances. If you are anything like me, sometimes it is easy to get focused on what WE want our circumstances to look like…how we would like things to be different. I’m learning that when we are able to thank Him in all circumstances it actually means that we are willing to surrender our own desires and trust Him to be in charge and use our lives for His glory. Last summer I was doing a lot better about giving thanks in the middle of difficult circumstances than I had been recently and it is time to get back on track.
Life doesn’t always look the way we think we want it to look. But God can work all things together for good…no matter how difficult or bad things may look to us. God sees the big picture– past, present, and future– all at the same time. The question is…do we trust Him with our circumstances?
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 ESV
So instead of wishing or “if only”ing our lives away, let’s decide now to commit to giving thanks in the circumstances that we find ourselves in now. I know when I have done this in the past, I felt so much closer to God and I was able to see blessings where they weren’t obvious.
Today, I have to make more choices and can’t do everything I want
wish I could do. But I do have choices…and that is a huge blessing.
Today I thank God that I have the blessing of being in cantata at our church. I thank God He has given me my church community with whom I can serve the Lord. I thank God for the many rehearsals that give me the chance to get to know my brothers and sisters in Christ. I thank God for the mistakes I make in rehearsals that are great opportunities to laugh at myself and learn something. I thank God for making me teachable. I thank Him for the times when I am exhausted and need to lean on Him more than ever and am forced to stop and rest in Him. I thank Him for my Christian brothers and sisters who accept my boys who struggle to remain quiet while we are practicing. I am thankful for the times when Josh and Michael run around because eight months ago they were recovering in the hospital from emergency surgery on their legs and for five weeks following surgeries they were in confined to wheel chairs followed by months using walkers and in physical therapy. So instead of getting frustrated with the fact that they don’t seem to remember how to walk, I ask God to help me see their running with gratitude that they can run again.
See what I mean?
It isn’t just about seeing the obvious blessings. It is about learning to thank God in all circumstances. As we learn to thank Him for the trials we learn to realize that when we have God we have everything we could ever need or want. I know that once I realize that I have everything I need with God…I learn to be content in all circumstances…and in learning to be content I learn to completely trust Him with my life.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Philippians 4:11 NIV
So this week am challenging myself to find a Scripture that reminds me to give thanks in everything and to make a list of five things/circumstances that I am thankful for. If you are journaling with the Blessing Journal Challenge, instead of using a journaling guide this week, let’s keep it simple this week.
What are some circumstances God is teaching you to thank Him for? Is it hard for you to do this? Ask God to help you. He is right there ready to lead and guide you.
I hope you will share some of your list with me in the comments below. I would love to see them! And I will be praying for each person who comments. Just click here to comment. It is that easy!
Don’t miss a single post! Take a moment to sign up for the free updates through your E-Reader or in your email. And be sure to join the Unwrapping His Grace Facebook Community where you will find daily updates, Scripture, encouragement and opportunities to share prayer requests or follow us on Twitter!
Giving thanks in all things,
Linked up with these Linky parties…