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Intentional Gratitude

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31-39


Joyful circumstances do not produce lasting gratitude. Intentional gratitude produces lasting joy, regardless of your circumstances.

 

When great things happen, it is easy to be grateful. But sometimes, when life hurts, we find it hard to be grateful. We often find it so natural to focus on our circumstances rather than our heavenly citizenship. We default to focusing on our earthly situations rather than our spiritual destination. We struggle with depression over broken human relationships, but forget to appreciate our relationship with the God of the universe who lives inside our very bodies.

 

Gratitude is all about perspective. It has nothing to do with circumstances.

 

Y’all, we have so much to be thankful for, even now…even in the midst of a broken nation full of broken families. We have a God who has chosen us, adopted us, suffered for our sin, redeemed us with His own blood, defeated our enemy, secured for us a home in Heaven forever, and come to live inside our very bodies so that we can be in His awesome presence for all of eternity. We have a loving Savior who has given us access into the very throne room of Almighty God.

We have a God who, regardless of being so incredibly holy, righteous, almighty, and all-powerful, has chosen to walk intimately beside us in our broken, faulty, imperfect, flesh-driven conditions. He carefully, patiently shepherds and provides for his wondering sheep, who have absolutely nothing to offer Him in return.

Y’all, we have so much to be grateful for, regardless of our circumstances. Let us lift our hands, hearts, and voices to praise the one who gave all and gives all to his needy, hungry, sheep.


May we never forget how desperate we are for His ongoing care. May we ever and always hunger and thirst for more and more of His righteousness. May we feast daily on His word and drink in His presence through prayer. May we stand tall against His enemies and rush in to rescue His wandering sheep with the passion and fervor of the Savior Himself.

On this Thanksgiving weekend, let us worship and praise the one who is the source and totality of all that is good. Let us stand in awe of our Savior who laid down His glory and His life to rescue and redeem us. Let us worship Him in reverence and serve Him with grateful hearts.



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