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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Life You Have



God has given me the gift of today.  He has blessed me with so many good gifts, but sometimes I'm so distracted by what He hasn't given me that I forget to be thankful for what He has.  I've been thinking about how to learn the secret of contentment.  I want to embrace the life that God has given me today, instead of choosing discontentment.

How do we learn this secret?  Sometimes it's easier said than done, but here are several ways to embrace today:

 Remember Who God Is

In my first grade Sunday School class, we've been learning some of the names of God.  It has been so incredible to meditate on what His names tell us about Him.  The last couple weeks, we've been learning that God is Jehovah Jireh.  He is our God who provides.  We can trust that God is going to give us every single thing we need.  For me, this is hard when I look around and see people who are enjoying a season of life that I wish I could have.  But that season is not what God has given me, so it's not what I need right now.  And during this season that I'm in, He is going to be enough to satisfy my desires and provide for my needs.  I have a sign in my kitchen that says, "And if not, He is still good."  Even if He chooses not to give me what I long for, He is always, always good.

Remember the Gospel

I've been challenged lately to preach the Gospel to my heart every day.  Because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, our biggest need has been taken care of.  No matter how hard life is, if we have trusted Christ for salvation, we have fellowship with the Creator of the universe.  We know that someday, we will live with Him forever and He will wipe away every tear.  That is what should bring comfort to our hearts during the hardest days.  And that truth will motivate us to embrace today, trusting that He is going to use it for good.

 Serve Others 

It's hard to sit around and complain about life if you're serving others out of a heart of love.  God has called us to put aside our own desires and needs in order to serve those around us - especially our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Choosing to trust that God is going to provide for our needs will free us to focus on showing love to others.  I've been challenged lately to serve joyfully even when I don't feel like it, and to make sure that my service is done in love.  I've found that my love isn't sufficient. I may serve, but I'm tempted to do it with a complaining heart or a proud attitude.  I've been asking God to change my heart and give me His love for those around me.  Embracing the life I have now means embracing and serving those that God has put in my path, and doing it with a loving heart.

Be Thankful

God has called us to be thankful in every circumstance. No matter what is going on in life, we can choose thankfulness.  This means taking our eyes off of our difficulties and putting them on our Savior.  When we get lost in how beautiful and glorious He is, we won't be able to keep from praising Him.  Our hearts will be filled with thankfulness for Who He is and what He has done.

So let's embrace the gift that today is, resting in Who God is and what He has done, and serving others with a thankful, joyful heart.  Because His mercy is new every morning, this is how we can live.  

4 comments:

Andrew said...

What a wonderful essay, Mandy. You got everything exactly right.

Yesterday was a hard day for me; I won't go into details except that there was a lot of cleanup, a lot of laundry. There were those who said that I had the right to be bitter and angry - to ask Why?

But I don't see it that way. Life is that which it is, and beyond puking blood and worse things, there is the potential for intentionality - to encourage others to hold to their faith, and to trust in the Almighty. My message may be more meaningful because I'm dying, but that's of no consequence. The important part is witnessing to God's goodness and love.

http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2016/11/your-dying-spouse-233-feedback-for.html

Mandy S said...

Thanks for stopping by, Andrew. Your testimony is amazing. Praying for you as you trust God with this incredibly hard thing!

Makenna said...

Thank you for this post! Just this morning I was reading about my Jehovah-Jireh, the LORD Will Provide, and meditating on how God will provide everything I need. And then, later that day, this post arrived in my inbox! It felt like God reminding me of His promise. Thank you for this wonderful reminder and refreshing post! :)

Mandy S said...

Makenna, thanks for stopping by! I'm glad it was a blessing. I love how God will bring something to mind several different ways to get a point across! He's good like that. =)