Monday, April 16, 2012

Give Thanks! God Is For Us, Not Against Us

The Prayer of Jabez is my prayer for the year. I have prayed it, and plan to continue to pray it, every day of the year. But here’s a thought let’s turn the Jabez prayer from a moaning and groaning prayer of “Oh, that God would bless me indeed” to a thankful cry, “Oh, God you have blessed me indeed.”

Most of us spend our lives wishing for the favor of God. ”Oh that you would bless me!” is often the cry of our hearts when we pray. But in reality we walk about with a mental shroud of gloom and rejection. We don’t feel blessed. We often feel cheated and shortchanged by life. We don’t’ feel like God cares all the time.

We are like Joe Btfsplk form the Li’l Abner cartoon by Al Capp:

Joe Btfsplk, the world’s worst jinx, had a perpetually dark rain cloud over his head; instantaneous bad luck befell anyone unfortunate enough to be in his vicinity. Though well-meaning and friendly, his reputation inevitably precedes him, so Joe is a very lonely little man. He has an apparently unpronounceable name, but creator Al Capp “pronounced” Btfsplk by simply blowing a “raspberry”, or Bronx cheer. Joe’s personal black cloud became one of the most memorable images in the Li’l Abner cartoon strip.

Let’s get rid of the cloud of gloom and doom that so often follows us around. Let’s give thanks for what we do have and what God has done.

We are children of the King. We are joint-heir with Christ. We are seated with Christ in heavenly places. Let’s think like it, act like it, feel like it, live like it. There is a reason God chose to call us “believers.”

What is it we believe? Our thoughts betray us. If we are feeling like paupers it is because we are not believing what God says, but rather what the enemy has sown in our cheated hearts.

The Scripture says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” What are you thinking in your heart today? The Apostle Paul exhorted us give thanks in everything, and for all men. He goes on to instruct us in having the mind of Christ.

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)

A great exercise for the grumblers and complainers among us it to begin the day with an extended time of thanksgiving – nothing else. Then covenant with God that for this 24-hour period you will “put a muzzle on it,” that is, you will not complain, grumble, criticize, or bemoan anything. What a day that will be! And what a wonderful transformation it will bring to our feelings and our families. Try it, you’ll like it!

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