Thursday, November 27, 2014

Lord, Give Me a Thankful Heart

“Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” Psalm 107:8 (KJV)

 Lord, Give Me a Thankful Heart

Today is Thanksgiving, a day we remember to give thanks to our Creator for all of the blessings He has given to us.
If we are honest, each one of us, no matter what path we are on in our journey has only to look around us to see so many good things God has done for us. No matter what challenges we may be facing, there is always something to be thankful for.

Can we see? Thank God for our vision. Can we use our hands to pick something up or write or type with?
Thank God for the use of our hands even if we have pain.
Can we swallow food?
Thank God that we can swallow our food~ some people can’t even do this.
Can we hear the birds singing, children laughing? Thank God for our sense of hearing.
Can we smell the turkey cooking in the oven, the fresh rolls baking? Thank God for our sense of smell.
Can we walk? Thank God for this wonderful ability, even if we must use a walker to get around with-- at least we have mobility!
Do we have a job? Even if it is not what we had originally planned to do in life, at least it pays the bills, thank God for this job, and look for all the good things you can find that you like about it instead of what you don’t like about it. Then you will be happy.
Do we have a house, a roof over our heads? It may not be a mansion or even the house of our dreams, but it keeps us warm in the winter and shelters us from the storms.
It is a place where our family gathers and after all, what are fancy appearances but things to boast about and puff ourselves up with and make us proud?
Let us be grateful for our house no matter how humble, for our house is a very great blessing and a gift from our Heavenly Father. There are so many homeless.
Whatever gift we have been given, whether it be good health, or even a trial, yes—a trial can be a gift from heaven because it can lead us closer to God, we must look around and thank the Lord for all His blessings He’s given to us on our journey in this life, for there is always something to be thankful for, even in the midst of pain and suffering.

A defining characteristic of last days people is ingratitude.
St. Paul wrote these words to Timothy:

Remember this: There are some terrible times coming in the last days.  
People will love only themselves and money. They will be proud and boast about themselves. 
They will abuse others with insults. 
They will not obey their parents. 
They will be ungrateful and against all that is pleasing to God.  
They will have no love for others and will refuse to forgive anyone. 
They will talk about others to hurt them and will have no self-control. 
They will be cruel and hate what is good.  
People will turn against their friends. They will do foolish things without thinking and will be so proud of themselves. Instead of loving God, they will love pleasure.  
They will go on pretending to be devoted to God, but they will refuse to let that “devotion” change the way they live.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 (ERV)

The prophet Jeremiah wrote, “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” ~Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT)

One wonders how Jeremiah could write these words after meditating on his story in the book of Lamentations. He was in indeed as he wrote, I am a man who has seen much trouble.” ~Lamentations 3:1(ERV)
He could write them because His focus was on His Creator and on all the good that God is and does.

Jesus Christ said that the lamp of the body is the eye, and that if our eye is evil then our whole body will be filled with darkness. In other words, if we keep looking for faults, we are going to constantly see them.
But if we rather look for the good, we will be walking in the light with God and we will be able to find peace, joy, and satisfaction no matter what our circumstances are.
“For God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. “~ 1 John 1:5

God is looking for the good in us and He wants us to make an effort to look for the good in ourselves, in each other, and in our circumstances every day and to be thankful. 

Keeping a thankful journal can help us do this.  If we are having difficulty being satisfied with our situation or someone, write down everything we can find that we like about that thing or that person. Consciously focus on the positives.

It is the enemy’s job to go looking for faults in people, to go around accusing and criticizing and find things wrong. The bible calls him “The accuser of the brethren.”
He wants us to always be dissatisfied. “...who accuses them before our God day and night.” ~ Revelation 12:10

St. Paul says instead to “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8 (NLT)

 “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV)


 Heavenly Father, thank You for this wonderful Thanksgiving day. 
Please forgive me for not being grateful for all of the wonderful gifts that You have bestowed upon me, for not recognizing the blessings in the midst of the storms along my path. 
Forgive me for  so often focusing on the negatives instead of looking for what is true and noble and good and right in people and circumstances that I have found challenging. 
Lord, I pray for a grateful heart that looks for the good in every situation, even in the midst of pain; in every person You bring across my path; 
I pray for a thankful heart that sees Thy blessings every day and perceives Thy measureless love abounding in all things. 
Thank You for Thy greatest gift of all, Thy Son Jesus Christ our Savior, I love You, Lord,  In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Unto The Least of These "Lord, Give Me a Thankful Heart" © 2014 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved. Photo Credit: BJU Press
Scripture Verses: NLT Bible Translation, ERV Bible Translation, KJV Bible Translation

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Lord, Give Me Faith

© 2014 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved.

Lord, give me the faith of Abel
Whose sacrifice to You
Was born out of obedience
To Thy word of truth.

Lord, give me the faith of Enoch
Who walked with You each day
Ever drawing closer
Till Thy Love swept Him away
Into Thy heart of Truth~
He never died, You took Him home
To always be with You.

Lord give me the faith of Sarah
Who trusted and believed
The promise that you gave to her;
Thy promise she received.

Lord give me the faith of Abraham
Who waited many years
For the promise that You gave,
By faith he persevered.

He waited and he trusted
Though he saw no sign
That what You said would be fulfilled
In Your own way and time.

Lord give me the faith of Noah,
Who trusted and obeyed
Thy word to him to build an ark
Though he saw no sign of rain.

"Build Me an ark, “ said God,
~Noah saw no reason why~
Yet He patiently worked and built God’s boat
While hundreds of years went by.

"This world will end, dear Noah,
This ark you build will save
You and all I give to you,
Just do all that I say."
Lord give me the faith of Moses
Who faithful to You stayed;
Through every trial and temptation
He willingly obeyed.

You sent him to the Pharaoh
"Let my people go!"
And every time you sent him there,
The Pharaoh shouted, "No!"

He asked and sought and knocked,
Yet every door was closed,
But Thy will prevailed for him~
One day the king said, "Go!"

Lord give me the faith that lasts
To all eternity
That never doubts Thy promises
Will always come to be.
In Jesus' name, Amen.
“But joyful are those...whose hope is in the Lord their God.
He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them.
He keeps every promise forever.” ~Psalm 146:5-6 (NLT)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us with such immeasurable love and for believing in us so much that You entrust us with beautiful dreams that we could never hope or imagine could ever be fulfilled except by faith in Your strength and power and ability to help us accomplish them. 
For You are to be honored and glorified in each of us 
by our lives on this earth in all that we do,
 and when we accomplish what would 
seem impossible in our own strength,
 all glory and honor goes to You, our awesome Creator. 
We love You, Lord and thank You 
for keeping every promise forever. 
In Jesus' name, Amen. 

"Lord, Give Me Faith," Prayer Poem © 2014 by Suzanne Davis Harden, All Rights Reserved. Bible Quote: New Living Translation: 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. All rights reserved. Photo Illustration/ S.D. Harden/ Unto The Least Of These © 2014 All Rights Reserved.