Thursday, July 7, 2016

How Can You Be Thankful When Bad Things Happen?

It is so hard to look around the world today and not be affected by what you see. The injustices happening without our national government, and investigators finding evidence of conviction, but they won't act upon it. How can we simply allow this to happen? Is there anything to be thankful for in all of what is happening around us? Watch the news for one night and you begin to wonder, is anything good happening anywhere?

We need to begin to change our own perspectives first, and we need to begin to choose to be thankful, despite how we feel. Things can change when we choose how we will be in that moment. We can let things get us down if we let it, or we can find something to be thankful for. Counter the news of this world, with reading the Bible. We can see the power of God in the world. God's not in a paic by what He sees happening and neither should we.

Developing a thankful heart, provides us a call to action to respond to what God has done.

Judges 10:2 ~ "He judged Israel twenty-three years; and he died and was buried in Shamir."

Nothing else is known about Tola, but there was peace under his leadership. We can even take peace for granted as a people.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 ~ "in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

Implied here is the call to 'exercise' which means to agonize, to labor, to work at. We must decide to be thankful. We must choose to be thankful. We are commanded to give thanks when things are going good only right? When everything is going our way? Or when life gives us all we asked for and more? No, we are to give thanks in ALL things!!! You don't need to understand it, when life is definitely NOT fair, in the negative. I thank God that He is not fair either, we don't deserve anything but death, yet Christ paid the price for all, and we simply have to accept His gift of salvation.

Developing a thankful heart shapes our attitudes.

Judges 10:3 ~ "After him, arose Jair, a Gileadite; and he judged Israel for twenty-two years."

After these men died, Israel went back to their old ways again. Do you have a roof over your head? What about clean water from your sink? Do you know that America has 90% of the world's wealth but only 4% of the world's population? Most people living on welfare in America, have a phone, a car and a TV. 72% of the world doesn't own a TV, they don't know where they will get water from today, and many are living without a roof over their head.

Start developing an attitude for thins like a place to sleep tonight, a hot shower (that alone is a blessing!). If you're hungry today, most likely it means you skipped eating, not that you didn't have any food and you should be thankful that you will eat today. There are those that won't.

Israel was blessed, but there weren't thankful and had forgotten God. This nation, like Israel, has forgotten God.

Psalm 69:30 ~ "I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving."

Therefore it should come as no surprise to you that many of our states public education systems are revising the curriculum that removes references to Veteran's Day, Memorial Day and Thanksgiving. We are already seeing our founding father's removed from history because it isn't relevant to teaching our children of today. If this country begins to take the path of an unthankful heart, ad it changes its attitude to exalt man before God, to revise God's history (His Story), when you remove God from the story, you take away opportunities to thank God and praise Him. It affects an attitude of a nation, and how they think, what they do and how they rule. We are seeing that happen here in America even more every day.

Congress alone is the most messed up institution since the founding of the nation. 81% of American's want "In God We Trust" on our money. A very small group in Congress, that is supposed to represent the will of the people, said No! We are supposed to begin seeing some money soon that has "In God We Trust" removed from it.

If you don't believe in God, don't use a dollar bill then. Go use a Peso or Canadian money. Stop saying it offends you. Tough!

When the National Endowment for the Arts lets a painting of Jesus covered in fecal matter be displayed publicly, it offends me.

But guess what? Life is bigger than that. It doesn't matter what you do, Jesus is still coming back and I don't have to be insane and burn down a building to get my point across.

When you remove God and stop being thankful, it changes your attitude. How do you as a parent feel when your own child stops being thankful? Children at that point begin to despise their parents. "I only have 1 iPod, I want 2 and I want it now!'

Psalm 100:4 ~ "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His name."

This is a command! So how do I develop a thankful heart?

By beginning to appreciate what you have now! (Not "someday" or "When my ship comes in," or "When I win the lottery!").

Luke 3:14c ~ "Be content with your wages."

Philippians 4:11 ~ "Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content."

1 Timothy 6:6-9 ~ "Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition."

Let's start getting out children to be thankful, by having them look around and ask them what are they thankful for. Start nurturing it now. Lead by example. We can help those around us, by doing this, in spite of what is happening in our life, good or bad.

A great example of this happened yesterday. On trash day, I have been taking my neighbors trash cans in when I bring my in. Yesterday she walked over and thanked me for doing it. She said it may seem like a small thing, but each time I see that I remember that you are doing that and no matter how bad my day is, I am thankful you take the time to do that for me. Isn't that what it is all about anyway? 

What are you thankful today?

No comments: