Be Thankful

Connecting Points

Monday, November 26, 2012

Today’s Topic: Be Thankful For It                                                      

Today’s Text:  Psalm 119:75 (ESV)  I know, O LORD, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.

I trust you had a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday with your family and friends. As for me, it wasn’t so good. That would be the conclusion based on the physical facts:

  • quarantined to a basement bedroom for all of Thursday because of severe intestinal flu; (first Thanksgiving without food in my life)
  • continued quarantine from close contact with family on Friday; (do you know how hard it is not to play with grandkids?)
  • felt better on Saturday – attempted to eat brunch – didn’t work.

Pretty much a blown holiday, right? Again, if all there was to consider were the physical facts then the answer would be a resounding “YES!” But there was another element at play in the whole set of sickly circumstances – the hand of God, who in His love and faithfulness was afflicting me so that I would grow. Here’s what I am learning:

  • First, from a physical standpoint, STOP EATING SO MUCH! Please don’t ask me to eat spaghetti for a while, and for sure don’t let me follow spaghetti an hour later with a huge hot fudge sundae. I am determined to treat the temple of the Holy Spirit with the respect and honor that He deserves.
  • From a spiritual standpoint, the 119th Psalm has been a life-altering challenge as I continue to make my way through it verse-by-verse. Here are the verses that I highlighted in my YouVersion Bible on my phone while I was flat on my back in bed –

Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways. (Verse 37)

I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes. (Verse 48)

* This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life. (Verse 50)

When I think on my ways, I turn my feet to your testimonies; (Verse 59)

Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments. 67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. 68 You are good and do good; teach me your statutes. (Verses 66-68)

It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. (Verse 71)

I know, O LORD, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me. 76 Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant. (Verses 75-76)

*  May my heart be blameless in your statutes, that I may not be put to shame! (Verse 80)

There’s a whole lot of work to be done to continue to absorb all the truths that God is teaching me through those verses. Truths like trusting His character rather than my circumstances; focusing on the eternal not the immediate; pursuing His ways and not my own; and last but absolutely not least, the shame of sin!

I didn’t change the title of today’s Connecting Points on purpose. Last Monday I wrote about being thankful no matter what. This Monday, I write it again, with a deeper understanding of the truth. It is the will of God that we be thankful in everything, and because of His love and faithfulness He is showing me how to do that. Thank you, Father, for the afflictions that are delivered according to your faithfulness. May I embrace them as gifts from you that will improve our relationship.

Pastor John

One thought on “Be Thankful

  1. You are so right. I’ve been getting up early to spend time with God and to watch Him paint the sky. As I’ve been dealing with Mono (since the end of Aug!) I’ve been able to spend more time with Him. As I’ve said before my body may be constantly exhausted but my spirit is going Full Throttle praising Him. It is a wonderful time and I believe an answer to prayer (the Mono) as I was looking for a way to leave a place without hurting a friend. Being sick for any length of time is no fun, but looking at it as you have, as extra special time with the Lord, can be it’s own reward as long as we chose to see it that way.

    Like

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