Faith in God that sees beyond present bitter setbacks. Freedom from the securities and comforts of the world. Courage to venture into the unknown and strange. Radical commitment in the relationships appointed by God. This is the woman of Proverbs 31:25 who looks into the future with confidence in God and laughs at the coming troubles.
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. ~Proverbs 31:25
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. ~Psalm 34:19
Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. ~1 Peter 4:19
Even through the sins of his people, God plots for their glory...the worst of times is not wasted. When you think He is farthest from you, or has even turned against you, the truth is that as you cling to Him, He is laying foundation stones of greater happiness in your life...all things mysteriously serve God's good ends.
I may not fully understand trials, but I know that I can stand strong with the security that God has a purpose behind it all. It's not always about what I see, but more about the journey and the end result...and as long as I am still praising Him in the end, then all the trials are worth it.
If it draws me closer to You Lord, it was worth it.
If it causes me to lay down my life at Your feet, it was worth it.
If it causes me to abandon worldly pursuits, it was worth it.
If it pleases You, it was worth it.
If it causes me to love You all the more, it was worth it.
I'd rather experience the trials if it causes me to leave my comfort behind, pick up my cross, and follow You. My ultimate goal is to be found in You, to love and serve You. Your end result is the ultimate gain. And the funny thing is, the trials won't be so painful when I am looking into Your light. In fact, the pain may actually be pleasant and refreshing as I am refined for You.
Christian thanksgiving is the life of Christ in the heart - transforming the disposition and the whole character.
Thanksgiving must be wrought into the life as a habit - before it can become a fixed and permanent quality.
An occasional burst of praise, in the midst of years of complaining, is not what is required. Songs on rare, sunshiny days; and no songs when skies are cloudy - will not make a life of gratitude. The heart must learn to sing always.
The lesson is learned only when it becomes a habit which nothing can weaken. We must persist in being thankful.
When we can see no reason for praise - we must believe in the divine love and goodness, and sing in the darkness.
Thanksgiving has attained its rightful place in us, only when it is part of all our days and dominates all our experiences.
~J.R. Miller, 1912