Thursday, July 1, 2021

Thankful Thursday

 

Happy Thursday, friends! I think it's safe to say that by now you know that I am an eternal optimist. I am one who tries to stay positive, I try to smile a lot and I am always looking on the bright side of things. That being said, just because I am that kind of person does not at all mean that my life is always easy and that I don't walk through times of discouragement or seasons of hard times. I just try not to focus on all of those things and the Lord is always faithful to help me through. That's what I do when I go through something hard or scary—I surrender it to Jesus. Sometimes I pick it back up by worrying about it or fretting, but I just keep trying to give it back to Jesus. He is faithful! He always answers my prayers, as well, even if it's an answer that I didn't necessarily want or ask for. His ways are truly better than our ways. The Bible says that in Isaiah 55:8-9.

So, I am always thankful for the goodness of God and the kindness He so often lavishes us with.

When I talk about the kindness of God, for me that is an instance when He allows me to see something that reminds of something I've prayed for. An example of this is something that my sister Trish experiences almost every year. She had a baby 34 years ago (just this past Sunday) that died a few days after she was born and almost every year, she sees something like a rainbow or a heart shaped cloud (or something along those lines). One year we were in Destin on Ashley's birthday and she saw a bunch of dolphins playing in the ocean as we sat on our balcony one morning. My friend Kari always called this type of circumstance a kiss from the King. Don't you love that? 

The Lord certainly doesn't have to do these things for us, but how sweet that He does? He cares about us, therefore He cares about the things we care about. 

1 Peter 5:7 states this—Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

I always find that such an encouraging thought, that He cares about me and the things that take up space in my mind. That's why I always talk to Jesus. I love to spend my days at home in a continual state of prayer. That just means that I pray on and off all throughout the day. Today is that kind of day for me, because I have nowhere to go and nothing pressing that I have to do outside of my home. I love spending days with Jesus and look forward to this time more than anything else. I read a memoir of my favorite author's life recently and read that she does this very thing. She always picks a day right at the beginning of every new year and she goes away to get alone with God. She spends the day praying, reading His Word and journaling all of the thoughts that God places in her mind. I can't wait to do that at the beginning of next year—and I am thankful for authors like her that write such great books and who encourage me in my walk with the Lord.

I'm also thankful for the gift that we have in prayer. It's the most underused tool that we have in our spiritual tool box! One thing I pray for everyday are the ones that I know of in our families that don't know Jesus. There are too many to name, but I pray for them almost every single day, by name. I can see the Lord stirring some of them and drawing them to Himself and I have faith to believe that they will know Jesus one day and love Him and walk with Him. 

It is not God's will that any one of His creation would die without knowing Him. The Bible says that too, in 2 Peter 3:9. He wants all of the people in the world to come to repentance, but sadly, that will not happen for a lot of them. The thing about the Lord that is another beautiful attribute about Him is that He didn't want to FORCE us to love Him—He gave us the free will to make this choice for ourselves. That is yet one more thing that proves to me how gentle He is with His love and how He cares so much for us. But we are not all God's children and we are only referred to that once we put our faith in Jesus. We must confess our need for a Savior and admit that we are a sinner (asking His forgiveness), we must believe that He is who His Word says He is and we must accept Him as Lord of our lives. Once we do that, then we are His children, heirs in His glorious inheritance! 

I am thankful to be a child of God, part of His forever family. Once we have placed our faith in Him, we will never again be separated from Him because of our sin! Sin has a penalty and it is death, the Bible says in Romans 6:23. Romans 8:35-39 tells us that NOTHING will ever be able to separate us from Him again. Once we are His, we are His forever. This is also comforting to me, because even though people I know and love don't walk with the Lord closely at this moment in time, I know that they are His and that they will be close to Him again someday. He will draw them back to Him and they will be renewed in their faith with Him. If you ever see me at church and I am at the altar praying, know that it's for family members that I am praying for.

I started off this post talking about how I am made as a person, one who is optimistic, who looks on the bright side of things—but one who also walks through periods of discouragement. When I find myself that way, I have to remind myself to look up, literally and figuratively speaking. I have to remind myself to set my mind on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2) and to be thankful in all circumstances. When I physically list all that I have to be thankful for, I find myself cured. Maybe someone needs to hear this today. Try it for yourself! If you're a believer, remind yourself of who God is and read Colossians 1 in the Bible. List out what that chapter says about God! He is able to do abundantly more than we could ever ask for or imagine.

If you're not a believer and you're ready to make a change in your life, what's stopping you? Reach out to someone today! We're not promised tomorrow. 

I pray these words encourage you. Love to all. 

4 comments:

  1. Your words are very encouraging. I love to read your blog! You are honest and authentic and a huge source of encouragement to me :).

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  2. Maria- thank you so much for that encouragement! I am so glad that my words are also an encouragement to you. Thank you for taking the time to comment!

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  3. This is beautiful & such a soul filled reminder!

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Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog!

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