Being Thankful

 

Be thankful in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:8 nlt

This is a verse that is not difficult to understand. We are to be thankful no matter where we are or what we are experiencing be it good or bad, easy or hard, happy or sad. Why? Because we belong to Jesus and whatever is happening it is part of God’s will for us.

Okay, that was easy to type. But not always easy to believe. When life is going according to my plans or without problems I have no problem accepting that all is just as God wants for me and I am thankful without hesitation. But when my plans go awry and there are unexpected interruptions and problems or there are circumstances not to my liking I tend to question God’s will and there is little thought of being thankful.heart-71227_640

Then Jesus reminds me of this promise;

For I know the plans I have for you,
declares the LORD,
plans for welfare and not for evil,
to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11 esv

He has plans for us. Anything that happens (or doesn’t happen) in our lives cannot change what He has planned. With Him we have a future and a hope. That is reason enough to be thankful in all circumstances.

Nothing is a surprise to Him. He knows those who belong to Him. He has plans for us. Nothing will prevent God’s will from being done.
Thank you, Jesus!

 

 

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Wait Expectantly

After you have prayed what are you thinking and what do you do?  If you are like me when amen has been said that’s pretty much it for prayer time and the business of the day begins. But when amen is said is that the end of the prayer? Reading Psalm 5:3 has made me aware of a weakness in my prayers.

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This verse tells me I fall short in a vital part of my prayer life.  It tells me to wait expectantly.  I can’t say I do.  I know the Lord hears my prayers. I don’t doubt that and I do know prayers are answered. But do I wait…expectantly?

To wait expectantly is to wait eagerly and energetically, confidently and positively, and actively. To be honest, most often I simply wait; just the verb wait with no adverbs attached.

I guess I thought the active part of prayer was the praying but the activity doesn’t stop at amen. Maybe expectantly waiting is part of what pray without ceasing means.

Isn’t is it a wonder how He gets our attention?  I was just reading a Psalm and a verse jumped out at me. A verse I have read many times before but this time it grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.

I wonder how many times I have missed something the Lord had for me because I just said amen and went on with my day not expectantly waiting for anything to happen?

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

Patience

I thought I was a patient person until a couple of years ago. Patience was the word given to me in 2015 as the word to study and to think and pray about. The first thing I learned was that patience is something that God wants us to put on because He loves us and we are His people. It’s important.

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves,
you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy,
kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Col 3:12 nlt

The second thing I learned is that I am not a patient person.  The year was challenging in many ways and patience was not often my response. I don’t remember what all the challenges were they weren’t big or overwhelming just enough to require patience to see them through. Repeatedly I failed the patience test. It took awhile but I found the key to developing patience.

Rejoice in our confident hope.
Be patient in trouble,
and keep on praying.
Rom 12:112 nlt

See that last phrase, “and keep on praying”. That’s the key to most challenges in life bighttps://pixabay.com/en/flower-life-crack-desert-drought-887443/ and small. Pray! So, that’s what I did and what I still do. Learning patience is no small task for me. I haven’t conquered my impatience yet, I am a work in progress, but my failures are fewer and less often now.

God being who He is, answered my prayers with encouragement;

being strengthened with all power,
according to his glorious might,
for all endurance and patience with joy;
Col 1:11 esv

Jesus and I talk about this often. You and I were created to be like Him and we have some work to do to become who we are meant to be but we are not left on our own to do this. We have the Spirit within us, His power and might, to keep us strong and confident as we persevere with patience and joy.

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

Be Kind…

I don’t have TV service and I don’t listen to the news on the radio very often. I see some snippets of news online and read the newspaper every day. So, I have to admit I am not the most informed person. But from what I do hear and read there isn’t much news I really want to know.

It seems we have become mean little people. Yes, that’s a generalization and maybe unfair but what is reported is mostly ugly. Is it just that the world has gotten smaller because of all the technology we have now and know minute by minute what is happening everywhere? At first, I was thinking that it is only those in power or those who want to behttps://pixabay.com/en/swan-whooper-swan-bird-swans-1191969/ in power that are mean and ugly and the common folk are caught in the middle trying to be nice. After giving it more thought and reading interviews of common folk it seems we, the common folk, are also becoming mean and ugly. Everyone wants to be heard. Yet the respectful and polite seem to be in the minority or aren’t heard because they speak softly. Or perhaps, some people have had enough controversy and contention and no longer make their views known publically.

Whatever anyone is saying there is always going to be someone with different thoughts on any subject. Does that mean it’s okay to argue and get mad and call each other names and make threats? Right or wrong there is a lot of this going on. So, what does Jesus have to say to us?

A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone,
be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people.
2 Tim 2:24nlt

Pretty clear to me. Do not quarrel, be kind, teach, be patient. Yes, even with difficult people we are to be patient. We probably think difficult people wouldn’t be so difficult if they would listen to us and agree. But if we think about it aren’t we all difficult at times? Maybe we need to listen to some good advice and do as we are told.

Be kind and compassionate to one another,
forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Eph 4:32 niv

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

 

Agape

We are told by Jesus to love one another. I have been thinking and praying about this lately.  There are three perspectives of love;

  • storge–the natural affection of family members
  • phileo–friendship of individuals, mutual affection, and understanding
  • agape–love given requiring nothing in return, deliberate principled and moral, not impulsive or from feelings or emotions

Storge is the first love we experience. Most of us are born into loving families. Some families are small some are large but all are united in the caring for one another. True, we may be closer to some family members than others but there is the common bond of belonging to each other.

Phileo is a love we develop over time with people who come into our lives as strangers that we find some interest or belief that ties us together. These are our friends. Friendships can be shared for a lifetime or be for a brief period or season of life.

These two types of love are the loves that nurture and teach us, comfort and strengthen us. We live, work, and play with these people sometimes in complete harmony and other times with disagreements and arguments. These two aspects of love are purely human and imperfect and they can come to an end. They can end in anger or by agreement, with respect or disdain. Or they can come to an end because of simple changes of life, the distance brought by a move,  passage of time or the change of interests.

Then we come to agape. This is the love God has for us. It is given to us though we don’thttps://pixabay.com/en/infinity-infinite-repeating-loop-1837430/ deserve it and it never comes to an end. We come into this world loved by God and we will leave loved by Him. Whether we acknowledge Him or even know Him doesn’t change the fact He loves us. It is a perfect love and it has no end.

When we know Jesus as our Lord and Savior there is something so important to Him that He commands us to do this;

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other.
Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.
John 13:34 nlt

I don’t know about you but I struggle with this. He says that just as He loved us we should love each other. I would like to say I have mastered this. I have not. There are just some people I find difficult to love or to be honest I just don’t love them. There are people I can say I love with my whole heart without reservation. But there are others I cross paths with that Jesus and I have some serious talks about. One of the things He said to me is that He wants me to love these people but it’s ok not to like everything about them.  I know there are more than a few things Jesus doesn’t like about me but still, He loves me. I have a lot of work to do!

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia