Devotion for Wednesday, April 1
A GRATEFUL HEART
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and
admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing
Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
Colossians 3:16 (NIV)
When something doesn't go your way or come down the pike the way you want it to, do you tend to gripe? It can be any number of things that irritate us - delayed flights, being put on hold while listening to "elevator music", having to wait in line, traffic jams and, of course, having to stay at home for an unspecified length of time. (We all have our own lists, don't we?)
At times like these when I'm tempted to gripe, I have to start talking to myself. (Yes, I do talk to myself!) "Ruth, if you can't be content in this moment of inconvenience, be content that it's not worse. Just be quiet and count your blessings."
Sometimes, this conversation with myself doesn't do the job until I dig deep and find that "grateful heart" that has somehow been buried under the unpleasant situation. As Christians our constant attitude should be gratitude. But, often, it seems to be the rarest of virtues. God has given us thousands of reasons to celebrate life every day, even in the worst of times, if we just open our eyes, live in the moment, take in the beauty, and see the possibilities.
We read in 1 Thessalonians:
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Now, pay attention...this doesn't say "give thanks FOR all situations"... it says "give thanks IN all situations." I am definitely not thankful FOR everything that has happened in my life, but I do try to be thankful while I'm dealing with unpleasant events. We may not be thankful for what is going on in our lives right now, but we can be thankful in the middle of this pandemic if we recognize that God is with us and we can always count on him.
Let us pray: Lord, teach us to offer you a heart of thanksgiving and praise in all the experiences of life. Teach us to be joyful always, to pray continually and to give thanks in all of our circumstances. Amen