ABC’s of Thanksgiving – Letter C

Ephesians 5:20 and 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tell me to always give thanks to God in all circumstances in Christ Jesus/Messiah Yeshua. Always being thankful no matter what? Really? But that’s God’s command to believers. So, just what does this mean?

~Cancer is a curse. How can I be thankful when I see my mother suffering?

~Change that is unexpected seems like a curse. How can I accept that with gratitude?

~Divorce is unwanted and so destructive. How can I find anything good in such a curse as this?

God, You commanded me to always give thanks in all circumstances. Why would you say that? You are All-Knowing/Omniscient (Isaiah 46:10 implied). Surely You know things that happen to me aren’t all blessings. If that were true, being thankful would be easy. But life isn’t all good. Bad things happen. How can I obey Your command in those situations? I don’t understand.

Child,

My commands are light to your eyes (Psalm 19:8; verse 9 Tanakh). They reveal how I work, and what I expect from you. They are a yardstick measuring your devotion and loyalty – even when you don’t understand.

I am God Who Turns Curses into Blessings (Nehemiah 13:2). I delight in showing you how easily I do that. Can gets people’s attention like nothing else. I want them to draw close to Me that otherwise wouldn’t happen. Disease is a curse. Seeking My help and will turns the curse into a blessing.

I am Chief Cornerstone (1 Peter 2:6; Psalm 118:22). Change is a tool I use to move you from one path to another. A new path to travel that will provide blessings never found on the old one.

I Comfort with a Rod and Staff (Psalm 23:4). These are shepherd tools used to keep sheep from straying into enemy territory. I removed you from your abusive home in order to keep you safe.

Child, practice looking beyond the “curse” situations. That’s where you will see Me. Be thankful that I see the other side of the curse – its blessing!

Love,

God

Champion of the Poor and Needy (Psalm 140:12 implied; verse 13 Tanakh)

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Forgiveness – Anger

“Aren’t you angry?” my sister asked. She was referring to my recent divorce. For 48 years I had been a major financial contributer. Yet, by man’s standards, my husband ended up with far more money and possessions.

I think about Jesus. Did He feel anger when He stood before Lazarus’ grave? Were His tears for the grief of the sisters? Probably. Was there more? Absolutely! He was angry that His creation experienced death – the result of Satan’s anger in not fulfilling his desire to be like or better than God.

When the apostles asked, “Show us the Father,” was Jesus angry? Possibly. He had given them His time, attention and instructions. Mentoring them for His ministry, they failed to see the Father reflected in the Son.

When Peter challenged Jesus and, at His command, stepped out of the boat, was Jesus angry that a wave of doubt and disbelief slapped Peter’s feet and he began to sink? Perhaps. Peter lost faith in the one who controlled the wind and water. His action denied Jesus’ deity. “I invested time in you, and this is what I get in return? What a waste!” Jesus could have said.

What about the time Jesus was teaching the crowd and many turned away, never to follow Him again? “Who can understand His words?” was their reasoning. “What simpletons. What ungrateful people. For these I am going to the cross?” Jesus could have, in hurt and anger, refused to die for them. After all, He had the power to lay down and take up His life. Such anger would have been Satan’s delight.

Death of a life or marriage must follow steps of healing and restoration. Anger is one of those steps. The nice thing about stairs is that they lead to a landing. I am never to linger on a step but use it to get to where I can walk in progress.

I can display my anger to Jesus because He understands. If I display it to others, whose reflection do they see? Jesus? He displayed anger once in the Temple because money-hungry men took up space that should have been occupied by Gentiles seeking to worship. Satan was triumphant in manipulating people’s greed. Jesus was angry and called a halt to it.

God shares His glory with His children. If I make an open display of anger, I am responsible for who receives the glory – God or His enemy.

When people observe how I handle angry situations, may their view of Jesus’ character not be distorted, nor His glory diminished, nor His Sovereignty questioned.

Anger is only a tool that reveals who I am – God’s servant or Satan’s pawn.

Read more on this subject. Take advantage of a free e-book download for the next two days – Jan. 17th and 18th.

Forgiveness God Style, B.L.Wade:http//www.amazon.com/dp/B00945xPZY/?tag=akoebel-20

Angry at God, Yourself and Others, Dr. Lynda Irons: http//www.amazon.com/dp/B009AHTE9W/?tag=akoebel-20