Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Forgotten Principle

I was reminded of something last night that I am ashamed to say that I had forgotten in the midst of the uncertainty of unemployment.  I was out with my friend for a coffee/bible study at one of my favourite establishments (Starbucks) and as we were discussing our life issues and the vastness of our God, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Do you ever find yourself in stressful situations where you're not sure how the next bill is going to get paid?  Do you ever ask yourself will I get over this sickness?  Are there times when you wonder if someone you care about is ever going to find right relationship with Jesus Christ?  Have you ever wondered if your life partner is ever going to find you where you are?  In those times of uncertainty, do you ever just feel like giving up, throwing in the towel and walking away in utter despair?  I've been down that path myself a few times and I've often wondered why do I continue to bother keep pressing forward?

Things have been a little stressful as of late with not knowing what God has in store for me.  Being newly married, I am admittedly quite concerned about how I am going to help contribute to my family income and help provide for our future.  I have faith that God can provide finances when I need them most, but I still like to know where the next cheque will come from.  I'm like a lot of people in that I like seeing the big picture of how things all work out in the end.

Probably one of the most famous of David's Psalms is Psalm 23.  As a child, I memorized for it for a group that I was a part of, called Crusaders.  It goes like this: 
The LORD is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
23:4 Or the dark valley of death.
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the LORD.
There is something about this Psalm, that no matter what you are facing, it just brings peace to an unrestful situation.  It causes you to stop and acknowledge that God is with you even "through the darkest valley"(Ps 23:4).  You recognize just how good God is.

This brings me back to my conversation last night.  The concept that put me back in my seat was being thankful.  Paul in his closing remarks of his first letter to the Thessalonians states, "Always be joyful.  Never stop praying.  Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus"(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).  Notice that it doesn't say, "in good times" or "when things are going your way" but it does say "Always"(5:16), "Never stop"(5:17) and "in all circumstances".

Am I always thankful?  When I am desperately needing a job, am I thankful?  When I am sick, am I thankful?  If I remind myself of what God has given me, then I have lots to be thankful for.  David says it best in Psalm sixteen verse two, "I said to the LORD, 'You are my Master!  Every good thing I have comes from you'".

God is so good to us.  Let's give him the gratitude that He deserves today regardless of the situation that you face.  Choose joy.  Keep praying.  Give Him thanks and watch what He does in your life.  He is faithful!

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