Thursday, February 21, 2013

You Want Me to do WHAT?!

"And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, GIVING PRAISE TO GOD THE FATHER through Him."  Colossians 3:17 AMP

This Sunday our church is having a "Celebration Sunday." It's a Sunday to celebrate not only our church's birthday, but also to celebrate all that the Lord has done in the lives of our church family. 

But this year, it got me thinking about exactly what am I thankful for. Oh,as I'm sure with you, I'm thankful for the blessing of my wonderful family and friends. I am thankful for my job. I'm thankful for the earthly possessions that He has blessed my family and myself with. But I wanted to go deeper.

And then last night God brought me to this verse, which I read in the NIV. But I like to take a verse and see in other versions, and this morning I discovered that I loved the amplified version. If you take it line by line, it brings being thankful and how you live--in a different light. At least for me. Especially the "in dependence upon His Person." It's in HIS power, not ours.

You see, we need to take EVERYTHING and thank our Heavenly Father for it. Even the bad. Even the not-so-much-fun. The nasty. I need to thank my Father for my husband's bad health. I need to thank my Father for my desperate fight to be free from relationship codependency bondage.  I need to thank my Father for when I don't understand why a special friend seems to be pushing my away and I don't understand why. I need to thank my God for the fact that even though my husband and I are both working, that there seems to be always something taking our money--the list could go on. But do you see what I am saying? The above verse doesn't say to just thank our God for the pretty, the sweet, the nice--and don't get me wrong, we need to thank Him for those things too. But I think, and this is just me, it is easy to thank for those things--not so much the trials.

And when we do it, we need to do it right. When I was walking this morning, talking to God about the friend issue, He spoke to me and said, "Praise Me. Praise Me in ALL things and think of what this time of struggle, confusion and hurt is teaching you." And I did. And you know what? Even though I am still confused and hurt, it gave me a peace. Crazy right? But it truly did. I guess you can say that it put it in a different light.

So, now it's your turn. What is it in your life that may not be the best situation, the not-so-nice, the nasty, the hurtful--but you need to PRAISE your Heavenly Father for? Got those things in mind? One at a time, give them to your Father. Pour out why that thing is not so nice--pour out the frustration, the hurt, the confusion, whatever--He wants to hear your honesty, your genuineness  And believe it or not, He already knows. It's not news to Him. And then praise Him for what it. Praise Him for the opportunity to be learning, to be learning how faithful, gracious of a Father you have. How you can be totally, completely, dependent upon Him--always. Praise Him for the opportunity to be able to learn a new coping method, for correcting a character flaw, whatever it is. That is between you and your God. And then be still, listen for that small--yet powerful--still voice in your spirit, and know that HE is God--YOUR God!

"Your sun will never go down again.
Your moon will never again be dark.
That’s because the Lord will be your light forever,
and the dark days of mourning will end." 
Isaiah 60:20 ERV

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