Thursday, March 1, 2012

It's Thankful Thursday!

It's Thankful Thursday at "Joyful on the Journey," and as I think about thankful living I am reminded today that thanksgiving is much like joyful living; it's a choice. It is something that we learn.

In Philippians 4:11-13, Paul instructs the Philippians on the secret to victorious living. Something that I find challenging and encouraging at the same time. I find this to be a lesson I need to learn to live and to live well. Paul explains that he has learned to be content in whatever the circumstances--while being in need and while having plenty, while being well fed and while being hungry, while living in plenty and in want. Then in verse 13 I think he sums up the crux of the matter. Paul had learned that if he was going to live life well, overcome the negative circumstance, face the enemy, endure physical trials and struggles. . . it would be not in his own strength, not because he had positive thinking, not because the stars lined up on his behalf, not because his abilities were sufficient for the situation. It would be because Christ power in Him was ENOUGH--he could do ALL things through Christ. The power that raised Christ from the dead was his. The power that healed the sick was his in Christ Jesus. The power that parted seas and tore down kingdoms was his. And there was nothing that he faced--being hungry, being in need, being up against a powerful enemy . . . (you fill in the blank) that was too great for the POWER OF CHRIST!!!!! Therefore, he could CHOOSE to be CONTENT in WHATEVER CIRCUMSTANCE and to be VICTORIOUS in EVERY SITUATION!!!!

So, I've had to ask myself on this THANKFUL THURSDAY--"Jennifer, just how often are you choosing contenment? Are you choosing to be satisifed, resolved, victorious right where Christ has you? Are you choosing to stand up against WHATEVER it is you are having to face, to deal with, to fight in the powerful name of Jesus? Are you choosing to BELIEVE that HIS POWER is ENOUGH and that you can do EVERYTHING through HIM who GIVES you STRENGTH?"

I'm ashamed to say that too often I choose defeat. I choose self-pity. I choose to believe the lies of the enemy instead of the promises of my Saviour. On this Thankful Thursday, I'd like to sling a few darts at the enemy and tell him just how thankful I am that even when I am faithless, my God is faithful and for that I am forever grateful!!!!

Every Good and Perfect Gift is from Above!

(This is what I'm giving thanks for today!)

6. A text or call from a friend that you know is the result of God speaking your name into their ear. You needed an encouraging word and their concern or sweet word lifted the weight that was bearing down on you. You know it's not a coincidence that they call or text at just that moment--it's a God moment where heaven and earth collide on your behalf.

7. The heavy beating of rain on your window that is the lullaby you need to relax your mind and heart and still the heaviness that is threatening to overtake you. It's amazing what a short afternoon nap will do to refocus your thoughts.

8. Sunday afternoon dinner around my parent's dining room table. Laughter that is natural and authentic, just family being family.

9. My ten-year old reading to my six-year old each night at bedtime and enjoying it. I know that one day this will be a treasured memory for both of them.

10. Both of my girls coming into my bedroom in the morning, spending the first few minutes of our day together snuggled in my bed, laughing at the funny things that AC says. Thankful for the sense of humor that God has given her that helps lighten life's load for all of us.

11. Listening to C sing praise songs and mean every word. WOW!!! God has blessed her with a beautiful voice, but more than that, He's given her a tender spirit that is already running hard after His heart.

12. The love God gives us for brothers and sisters in the faith who aren't flesh and blood but who feel that way--when they cry we cry, when they rejoice we rejoice. What a gift!!!!

13. Those moments when my husband and I can finish each other's sentences or say something and look at each other and smile and say "I was just about to say that" or "I just had that same thought." So thankful for the way God binds your heart together in unity. Making the tough stuff more bearable.

14. Afternoon walks and bike rides with my girls are simply wonderful. There's just something about seeing them enjoy the beauty of God's creation!


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