This week we have set apart to celebrate Thanksgiving. As I sit and meditate on how thankful/grateful I am, my thoughts begin with the Creator of all. I cannot contain the overflowing joy I feel and have begun to praise Him with the very breath He has given me.
Genesis 2:7 states “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground and breathed into
his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.” Think about how personal this is. We were not created from a distance, but
every part of us, every quark was formed by Him. God could have spoken breath
in us but instead, chose to breathe it into our nostrils. In this very moment, I see not only Creator
but Father. He did not create us without
thought. We were created with careful consideration and formed. We were formed
from love, by love and out of love. Love
which overflowed from Love Himself.
Thank you, Father!
On this day, I am thankful for the Creator,
my Father, Love, and the breath of life.
This, within itself, is enough to pause and meditate on. Allow yourself to not only be thankful but
also be overwhelmed by the gifts that were manifested because of the Fathers
love for each one of us.
Today was the
most beautiful day, I had ever seen, but I could not see it. I could only see the dark clouds, feel the chilly
wind and light rain…nothing but a gloomy feeling, I was unable to see the new
mercies I received for this day despite how hard I tried. The more I struggled to find the beauty, the
faster I sunk in despair. I ran to Psalm
42 and began reading it aloud a few times.
The tears began to stream down my face. I realized there was no joy and
could not think of anything to be joyful about.
5:16 says we are to rejoice always. I
then went on a journey to rekindle my joy!
take for granted what we know. ON this
day, I went back to the basics as if I was brand spanking new and sought it
out. As I read a few commentaries…(after
my study on scriptures pertaining to joy)
I came across this list and wanted to share it with you.
10 Reasons that
can “always cause us to be full of joy” (This list is not exhaustive, however,
can be used as a good place to begin)
In appreciation for God’s righteous character which even in trouble, He demonstrates faithfully to believers “I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels” (Isaiah 61:10)..
In appreciation for Christ’s redemptive work. “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2)
In appreciation of the Holy Spirit’s ministry on our behalf. “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the [j]saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26-27).
The MANY spiritual blessings we have. We are reminded in 2 Peter 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,” (2 Peter 1:3)”. Can you count them all???? Try 😉
Be joyful in His sovereignty because all He does is for our good. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified”(Romans 8:28-30)
The promise of the glory that is to come “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;” (Philippians 3:20)
Answered Prayers. God always responds to our prayers. He hears and answers. “Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer nor His lovingkindness from me.” (Psalm 66:20)
The gift of His Word. “Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.” (Jeremiah 15:16)
The Privilege of genuine fellowship with one another. “Though I have many things to write to you, I do not want to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, so that [a]your joy may be made full.” (2 John 12)
True believers cannot help but express their joy at the saving proclamation of the gospel. “What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this, I rejoice.” (Philippians 1:18)
As I carefully considered and meditated on each point, I began to praise God. By the time I reached #10, I was overwhelmed and completely in awe of Him.
Disclaimer: This information is listed in The MacArthur New
Testament Commentary, 1&2 Thessalonians page 185
2 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. 1 Peter 2:1-3
The phrase “putting aside” speaks of a transformation into the new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17). Getting rid of (through the power of the Holy Spirit that indwells you, if you are born again) those things that are hindrances in the kingdom of God. As long as we intentionally function in any malice, any deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander, we will not fully desire the Word of God.
As believers, we need the truth of the PURE Word like newborn babies need their mothers’ pure milk. Pure is such an interesting word. It means uncontaminated, unmixed, straight from the source, untainted. Just as the Word of God is to be.
Just as pure milk satisfies a babies hunger, the pure word of God will satisfy our hunger. Just as babies crave, desire, long for milk, so are we to crave, desire, long for the Word of God. Milk is necessary for a babies growth, development, and maturity. Just as the Word of God is necessary for the growth, development, and maturity of EVERY believer in respect to salvation.
When we accepted salvation and received the blessings of the LORD, it was then that we tasted the kindness of the Lord. Just imagine how much sweeter it is to no longer taste but to feast on His Word continually. O taste and see that the Lord is good Psalm 34:8
Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 1 Peter 3:3 – 4
The world says beauty is only skin deep. But God challenges us to go deeper than the skin. Our beauty cannot be based on the external things that are seen by all such as fashion, appearance, things we have, etc. It must be connected to who we are at the very core of ourselves. What does He see when looking at our hearts? Are we devoted to beautifying the hidden person of the heart?
The qualities God desires in us are to mimic the trends of fashion… here today … gone tomorrow. They are to be imperishable. Imperishable means uncorrupted, not liable to corruption or decay. In other words, anchored.
In this passage, the qualities we are looking at are those in reference to our spirit that springs from the heart. We are to have a gentle and quiet spirit. Gentle and quiet are defined as a spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting (Blue Letter Bible). (This IS NOT to be confused with being passive.) It is this that is precious in the sight of God (remember He watches and sees, even those things done behind closed doors).
What type of spirit do we accept the will of God for our lives? Do we trust Him as we say we do? Do we truly have an understanding of what SOVEREIGN means in connection with God? Does He see our spirit, is it precious in His sight?
But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, And the Lord has forgotten me.” 15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. 16 “Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands (Isaiah 49:14-16)
Although God is speaking to Isreal, these truths can be and are applicable to all of those who belong to Him today.
Many of us, at some point and time in our spiritual walk, have felt as if God has forsaken us. We have felt left behind… alone… deserted. This feeling of being forsaken can stem from many situations, such as things not going as expected, disobedience, trials, loss, etc. But in this passage, God reassures His children that although they feel forsaken, they are not forsaken by Him. God, although everywhere, is also stationary in each of our lives. We are the ones who move away from Him, from the path He has laid out for us. God states that we may forget, but He does not. The God who remembers all has shown how much He loves us and how important we are to Him.
He has inscribed us in the palm of His hands. Do you see what I see? We are cut into, traced, unable to be removed from the palms of His hands… ON PURPOSE.
But why the palms?
The palms are unable to tan no matter how long they are left in the sun. The skin on the palm is able to withstand pressure, wear, and damage. It is sturdy, long lasting, imperishable, indestructible BUT very sensitive. The sensitivity allows it to feel the slightest change or shift that takes place within it. He can feel everything connected to us. To those, that are inscribed in His palms. WE ARE CONNECTED AND PROTECTED!!!!!
The position of the palm is also important. We are told, an upturned palm signifies receiving while a downturned palm indicates giving. When we think of God extending His hands over His people, it is with His palms down, shielding and giving protection.
Do you feel forsaken? If so, why? Have you talked with God about it? If not, why? When did the feeling of disconnection begin? Were there any instructions given that were not followed?
Seek Him where He can be found… in His Word. Remember, when wanting to talk, take time to listen.