Do you ever find yourself having “gospel amnesia”? Rick Thomas reminds me we all have it as Christians from time to time. Gospel Amnesia is when I can find myself forgetting what the Lord has done for me at the Cross and I find myself sinfully complaining about difficult life situations.
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Dealing With Our Hearts:
I realize I can look to others as a thankful person on the outside, but sadly that isn’t always what is going on on the inside.
When things aren’t going my way, or there are disappointing life situations, I have a grumbling heart on the inside but I don’t always let others see that part of me. The Lord is gracious to reveal this to me because it is in the fiery furnace when those areas of sin and weakness are revealed. I need to continually learn to give thanks in and through recognizing my sin of unthankfulness!
Too may times I find myself focusing on the storms of life instead of “on the God of the Storm”. In this powerful quick read, Storm Hurler: When God Hurls a Storm at You, I was reminded that many times I am “broken but not broken.” What do I mean by that? Well, Rick Thomas made a powerful statement that I think of often as he said in the above book, “The characteristic of a broken person is gratitude”. That is sadly not my heart too often in the storms of life.
“An evidence that our will has been broken is that we begin to thank God for that which once seemed so bitter, knowing that His will is good and that, in His time and in His way, He is able to make the most bitter waters sweet.”
~ Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth
What I need is a constant reminder of the gospel and that it was God’s kindness towards me that led me to repentance. I’m thankful to have people in my life who point me to Christ in those times.
I was spiritually dead and now I am spiritually alive. What do I have to grumble about? What right do I have to complain about anything?
I want my cup to overflow with a heart full of gratitude to the Lord because I know what I have been granted in Christ. I don’t want my thankfulness to be manufactured to please men or to make others think well of me but I want it to be from a heart that is thankful to the Lord in all things.
My mind needs to be continually drawn back to the Gospel because it is the starting place to cultivate a heart of thankfulness in and through all things. It is a reminder that the Lord is growing me in these times more in the likeness of Jesus. That’s something to give thanks for!
My Personal Action List:
I have been keeping a praise list to continually refer back to and remind me of God’s goodness in my life. One other area I’m asking the Lord to continue to work on my heart is to help me to see things to be thankful for throughout my day – even the little things we can so easily take for granted.
I pray I will allow the Lord to use the storms in my life to mold me more and more into the image of Jesus and that I would keep my focus upward and not inward.
Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges (This is one of my top recommended books regarding the sovereignty of God in our suffering – so good and such a help in difficult seasons!)
The Storm Hurler: When God Hurls a Storm at You by Rick Thomas