I am so thankful that I serve a good God, who fills my life, with good days.
It is relatively easy to be thankful for the good days–the days where all the blessings that overflow in my life are pleasant and obvious.
The “not-so-good” days are a little more challenging, aren’t they?
And yet, in the last decade of my life, I have begun to grasp the heart-meaning behind the words of the Apostle Paul, when he said:
I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you’re again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don’t mean that your help didn’t mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles. Philippians 4: 10-14 The Message
I love it that Paul said, “… I’ve learned by now…”
Yes, now, in my sixth decade I’ve also learned that the seasons in my life do change–and sometimes, quite suddenly.
They can change for the better which is always easy to be thankful for.
Or, they can change for the worse…
Then, praise of our Good God and a heart full of thanksgiving, can really put my toes to the fire–testing the quality of my devotion and trust.
I have sat at a Thanksgiving table loaded with food; surrounded by family or friends.
But, I have also been in challenging circumstances, where my “Thanksgiving dinner” came primarily from the local food bank; donated by the kindness and generosity of strangers.
And I remember…
Oh yes, I remember! Those difficult days “shopping” at the local food bank.
I remember standing in line, praying prayers like, “Father, thank you for your goodness, and providing for us once again, when we saw no way. May I never forget these days. For the rest of my life, may I remember to give to those who struggle–with my heart full of kindness and generosity–one that reflects Your light and hope to others.”
As we share our hearts…
Emilie, is once again playing “Mother.”
She smiles, and fills our teacups, as she shares another of her “gems”:
… if you want to live a hopeful life, I urge you to stop right now and give thanks for good days present and past–both the ordinary good days and the special, breathtaking, moment-of-truth good days. For I believe God gives us these days of grace to serve as lampposts of hope throughout our lives…
For me, at this time of my life, a good day is a little different than what it used to be…
Right now, as I continue with my ongoing cancer treatment, a good day may simply be one when the constant pain of shingles… is dulled…
And do you know what I’ve learned in this time when my good days are so different from what they used to be?
I’ve learned such days really ARE good if I receive them with gratitude and enjoyment. They’re still a gift of grace given by a God who knows exactly what I need and wants to give it to me…
If you want to live hopefully, don’t waste your energy fretting that not all days are good days…
Accept your good days as they’re given…
Accept them as shining lampposts dotted along our paths to help us see the way to God.
God’s promises: provide light for ALL our days
- But I will give all my thanks to you, Lord, for you make everything right in the end. I will sing my highest praise to the God of the Highest Place! Psalm 7: 17 TPT
- When I come before you, I’ll come clean, approaching your altar with songs of thanksgiving, singing the songs of your mighty miracles. Psalm 26: 6-7 TPT
- And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks, for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5: 18 TPT
- For God has given us these seasons of joy, days that the God of Jacob decreed for us to celebrate and rejoice. Psalm 81: 4 TPT
Our Fourth Cup
In this season of remembering to give God thanks, let’s fill our fourth cup this week with praise to our Father in heaven, whether we see our days as good, or not-so-good.
I have learned, when I bring Him the gift of praise–no matter what my present circumstances–He fills my heart with the gift of HOPE!
You are so GOOD. And, You do not change! You are good on my good days, and You are good, even when my days (and my circumstances) seem to contradict your goodness.
All of my blessings, large and small, come down to me from the Father of Lights.
So, in this season, may we offer You hearts full of thanksgiving.
In Jesus Name, we THANK YOU for our many blessings, amen.
Every gift God freely gives us is good and perfect, streaming down from the Father of lights, who shines from the heavens with no hidden shadow or darkness and is never subject to change. God was delighted to give us birth by the truth of his infallible Word so that we would fulfill his chosen destiny for us and become the favorite ones out of all his creation!
My dearest brothers and sisters, take this to heart: Be quick to listen, but slow to speak. And be slow to become angry, for human anger is never a legitimate tool to promote God’s righteous purpose. So this is why we abandon everything morally impure and all forms of wicked conduct. Instead, with a sensitive spirit we absorb God’s Word, which has been implanted within our nature, for the Word of Life has power to continually deliver us. James 1: 17-21 TPT
* Emilie’s “gems” are shared with the permission of Harvest House Publishers. They are: Taken from: A CUP OF HOPE by Emilie Barnes, Copyright © 2000, Published by Harvest House Publishers
Photos courtesy of: Unsplash
This weeks photo credits and “My Thanks!” go to photographers: Kylie Paz, Aaron Wilson, Pro Church Media, Loverna Journey, and Morgan Sessions.