Thankfulness truly is the key to a joy filled life. After returning from Nicaragua, I have experienced a lot of emotional highs and lows. Often, before and after mission trips, one can experience spiritual battles of the mind. The enemy would love for you to feel unqualified to go on the mission trip. The same can be true when you return.
Whether it is an attack of Satan or a battle with the mind, I do know Satan, the enemy of God, desires God’s children to get distracted; to focus on anything and everything other than God. During that distraction, we tend to focus on the challenge in a negative light instead of choosing to to live in gratitude.
Gratitude produces Joy, which of course is a “fruit of the Spirit.” That is what I choose to experience, by the Grace of God, in my mind and my heart… the Joy that emanates from Gratitude!
We have so much to be thankful for. First and foremost, we have a Savior who loves us!! Yes, I have some challenges that I am dealing with, but I have the choice to trust God and be thankful, knowing that Christ loves me and is working out His plan for my life. By choosing to be thankful, I defeat the enemy’s grumblings and mumblings which, if listened to, only lead to despair.
I have centered my blog around the verse Isaiah 61.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on Me… the oil of Joy instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.. Isaiah 61:1;3
Another verse I choose to stand on is..
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”
Gratitude is living in thankfulness for all I have, and have not, received. Today, I am pondering all that Christ did for me and all the gifts he has given me.
A sweet gift from my friend, Lisa photo by Sharon Moye
“For our light and momentary troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever.”
2 Corin. 4:17
I choose to rest in God and thank Him for every good gift.
Just to name a few…
God chose me before the foundation of the world
God chose my parents to adopt me and give me a good life.. Just celebrated my dad’s 83rd birthday – Aug. 10th!!
Married my sweetheart and best friend, Mike, 29 years ago this past Monday..
God gave me three beautiful children and one cute grandbaby….
Sweet little Penelope, grandbaby... photo by Sharon Moye- Mimi
This week, I am going to reread Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts . She writes beautifully and speaks of God’s grace and living in Gratitude. I encourage you to read it and begin your own Gratitude journal. I have included the link to the book on my Praise page on my website.
It is very common in our Christian walk to get stuck and feel overwhelmed. That is where I was earlier this week. The enemy, or our flesh – the old nature (As a Christian we have be given a new nature once we put our trust in Jesus. However, we still have our old nature that rears its head), attacks our mind- in our thought life, then we dwell on it, traveling down to the heart believing the lie of despair, and then finally to the hands- actions.. We have the choice to live in that despair or to count these momentary afflictions as “light” and focusing on the good things God has provided. So, if we take every thought captive and give them to God, believing Him and living in gratefulness, our hearts begin to be full. We then can give joy and love away with a full heart..
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17;22
We give the enemy no power when we take action immediately. I give God my challenges today. I give God glory and know that God will give me perfect peace because I am choosing to set my mind on Him.
As we journal and meditate on God’s good blessings and gifts rather than on our challenges, We become grateful. We then can be joyful and grateful for all His kindness towards us and not allowing the challenges to override his Blessings..
photo by Sharon Moye
The light can always shine through the cloud…