Bible Verse: Finally, brothers and sisters, 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
Scripture Reading: Psalm 107:1-32
This week, we are looking at gratitude through the acronym T.H.A.N.K.S.
I heard a joke about a man who went into a monastery with a strict silence policy. In fact, the monks were only allowed to say two words, once a year, on a particular day.
On the first anniversary of the man’s entrance into the monastery, he met with the head monk and was invited to say his two annual words.
He said, “Bed hard.”
On the second anniversary, he said, “Food cold.”
On the third anniversary, he said, “I quit.”
The older monk replied, “It’s no wonder, all you ever do is complain.”
Complaining is easy. Anyone can complain. This life is hard, the world is broken, and circumstances are rarely exactly what we hope for.
Your wife doesn’t meet all your expectations.
Your children aren’t perfect.
Your job is frustrating.
Your body is breaking down more than you want it to.
There always seems to be less money than you need.
So, our natural response is to complain.
But complaining doesn’t tell the whole story; it is inherently untruthful.
In John’s Gospel, some people were complaining about Jesus’ actions, and He said to them, “Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead, judge correctly” (John 7:24).
We need to learn to judge correctly. And the correct way to look at life is through the eyes of eternity. If we have received Jesus into our hearts, we have eternity in our future, an eternity where there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain (Revelation 21:4). In the light of that eternity, our current difficulties are minuscule in comparison.
Paul wrote, “I consider our present suffering as not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us,” (Romans 8:18).
Jesus gave His life for us on the Cross so we might have eternal life. We can never be thankful enough for this great gift.
Prayer: Lord, I have been focusing too much on this present life and have forgotten the truth that you have given me eternal life. One day, I will stand on the threshold of that eternity and see an unending future of joy, peace, and perfection. Give me that perspective now so that I will have the ability to right-size my current difficulties. Fill me with a thankful heart that, though this life is hard, it is tremendously short in light of eternity. Thank you for your extravagant sacrifice on the Cross that I might have the hope of this eternal life. Amen.
Reflection: Where is your perspective today? Have you forgotten that you are an eternal being? Are the struggles and difficulties of this present life filling your view screen so you can’t see the eternal future before you? Or maybe you aren’t really prepared for that future; you have never invited Jesus to be the Lord of your life. You can do that right now. You can surrender your life to Jesus and receive eternal life.
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