Joy and Gladness
"And the Lord will bless Israel again, and make her deserts blossom; her barren wilderness will become as beautiful as the Garden of Eden. Joy and gladness will be found there, thanksgiving and lovely songs" (Isaiah 51:3).
When the editors of a Christian publication came to Arrowhead Springs some time ago to interview me, the discussion turned to the subject of problems in the Christian life. They were skeptical when I explained my way of handling difficult circumstances, potential sources of anxiety and frustration.
As you will note from this verse in Isaiah, thanksgiving is a spiritual way of singing to the Lord. As we sing with a thankful heart, we receive the joy of the Lord in return.
So it was that I explained to the editors: "Many years ago I learned to obey God's command to be thankful in all things as an act of faith. And since I am assured from God's Word that He rules in the affairs of men and nations, that He is all wise, all-powerful and compassionate and that He loves me dearly, I would be very foolish indeed to worry about my problems, cares and tribulations even for a few moments. I cast them upon the Lord as soon as they are brought to my attention.
"For example, I can list at least 25 major problems that I have given to the Lord today - some of which would crush me and destroy my effectiveness if I tried to carry them myself."
Then I recalled an earlier week beset with illness, surgery and bereavement for loved ones and friends. "But," I told them, "I chose to obey the Lord's command to give them all to Him, and to retain a thankful spirit."
Bible Reading: Ephesians 5:18-21
TODAY'S ACTION POINT: I will trust God's Holy Spirit to establish a thankful spirit in my heart and life today and every day as a way of life.
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