{Ministry} Unlikely Thankful 4’s

It is very easy to say we are thankful around a season that focuses on giving thanks… The difficult part is being thankful in our everyday lives.  Aside from the obvious reasons for thanks to be given, I want to zoom in on the not-so-easy part of life.  The trials faced that leave you with your jaw hitting the floor.  Those times when people let you down.  When you feel that no matter how hard you try, there will always be adversaries.  Why are these things so important to give thanks for? Because how you react {and what you learn} is what builds your character and testimony.  Here are my Unlikely Thankful “Fours”:

1. Mistakes: I am just as guilty as the next person for making bad decisions. God didn’t make me perfect and the last thing I want to do is make others feel inferior.  As a Christian blogger, my goal is to do the opposite…encourage those in need.  Have I messed up? Oh yeah! Does that mean I am judged by those mistakes? Yes, but the only judgement that matters is God’s. He is the only one who truly knows my intentions.  I can’t change mistakes I’ve made in the past or how others view me because of them.  What I can change is my interaction with those who choose to judge me.  I give thanks for the clear decision to try and glean wisdom from those disappointing situations.

2. Adversaries: Even Jesus had mockers.  I don’t think anyone seeks out enemies, at least I hope not.  Even though some may say ” I don’t care what others think of me,” if they were honest I am sure that deep down they care. I have been on both sides of hurtful situations and no one wins. Whether I have instigated negative feelings or been the brunt of the joke, it is a lose-lose situation. What can I do to smooth over bumpy relationships? Pray. I have extended olive branches in the past as well as added fuel to the fire of judgement.  In both circumstances, unless both parties are genuine, nothing will change. So having exhausted all options I thought were the best,  I now pray for God’s will to be done and for me to have peace of mind. I thank my adversaries for giving me a chance to look in the mirror and strive to be a better person. Without knowing what it feels like to be in the valleys, I would never appreciate the tops of the mountains.

3. Ridicule: My late Gramps always told me that I would know I was doing God’s will if the Devil was constantly trying to bring me down. Anytime I face a trial I think of his powerful words. I notice that when I have completely honest intentions and start feeling secure in my walk with the Lord, I get knocked down again. I understand that if I am true to myself and God {without compromising my witness to be liked by all} that everyone will not agree. However, even though I expect the ridicule, it doesn’t make it any easier to take. By the grace of God and some very tested faith, I am beginning to be thankful for these hard lessons.

4. Change:  As much as I would love to make time stand still, change is all around. In a blink of an eye my son’s first year is in the past, only memories saved in pictures. I need to work on embracing change both in my career and personal lives. Instead of dragging my heels in anticipation of difference, I should embrace the days the Lord has given me. No matter who or what lets me down, I can always count on the persistence of the clock.  Others may try to change me based on their judgement of my decisions, which is why I am so very thankful that human opinions are not what will get me into Heaven.  God’s greatest sacrifice is my ticket in the gates.  Thanks be to God for His willingness to change my soul so that I can live eternally with Him!

While watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with my little family this morning, God reminded me of these unlikely reasons to be thankful this season. Without them, it would be easy to be a Christian.  Jesus wouldn’t have had to die on the cross if the straight and narrow was the easy way out.    No matter if people visit this blog with cruel intentions or with an open heart, there is a reason they are viewing this.  I am not asking for my readers to agree with everything I say, only with everything God says.  The next time something doesn’t go your way, shoot Heaven a little thank you note–because if you are being tested, you are being perfected in God’s eyes.

 “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12

God Bless & Be Thankful,

 


 

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