And Turn Around
What a difference a year can make in one’s life. Even in world events, we have seen how one year can change the overall view of everything. Still, we have to be careful and not grumble and complain but rather develop a lifestyle of thanksgiving for all that God continues to do for us, no matter what it looks like.
How The World Changed in A Year
The past twelve or so months have seen the death of one of the longest reigning monarchs, a war in eastern Europe, world inflation, an increase in corrupt governments, the rise of antisemitism, and the growing move toward a Palestinian state rise. All of these things together have caused more fear in people’s lives worldwide.
The Covid-19 crisis may have subsided, but other healthcare scares have arisen, and more will certainly come. Food shortages continue and what food is available is too overpriced for most people to afford. Many can no longer afford to feed their families and pay the bills.
It’s Easy To Complain
It’s easy to complain when we are going through trials and tests. Then when everything in the world seems to be falling apart, we can slip into blaming God or giving credit to the enemy. Trust me, I know this far too well.
But God gives us all free choice, and the enemy is not behind every problem. The governments of this world have long been under the way of the Babylonian world system. People make daily choices, believing that what they do is for the betterment of mankind. Often they are selfish and unconcerned about the ordinary citizen.
Regardless of what others do and how the world seems to be going, we must not complain. It means we are still immature and lack kingdom growth when we complain, blame God and speak cursing, not blessing. We serve a king, and He reigns already, but we often act like what we see in the natural is all that there is. Most live with no hope, or everything is just one big party.
Either way, there is a supernatural world around us, and it affects everything. Our role is varied, but as citizens of the Kingdom of God, we are vessels of blessing, and our job is to advance the kingdom. Complaining lets God know we lack maturity and are unappreciative of all that He has done. It’s easy to blame this or that for inflated gas and food prices, but I remain thankful that we have food and gas at the end of the day. God has never failed me, and if you trust Him, He will never fail you.
A Year of Turnaround For My Family and Me
One year ago, at this time, I was home from the hospital on oxygen after being diagnosed with double pneumonia due to Covid-19. Earlier that same year, my youngest daughter was involved in an automobile accident that left her nearly immobile in her neck and shoulders for nearly a year. It was a year full of setbacks, heartaches, and financial struggles.
My other two daughters had many struggles as well. We chose to press through and believe God for complete healing, physical and emotional, and financial provision. We had moments of near defeat and hopelessness. It was difficult for me to breathe, and I had been fatigued for several months.
While we sometimes complained, we were constantly reminded that God had given us all promises, and we stood on that. Gradually we each saw God move in every area. I regained my strength and was able to do even more than before I was incapacitated. Gradually my daughter was able to do more without the horrible pain.
God kept us going no matter what came up, even if we reverted back to complaining. Our living conditions were very modest, but we were ok as we had a roof over our heads and food. But God opened the door for my wife and me to relocate to our hometown and rent a home with no ‘proof’ of income.
There were so many things that we all faced. My oldest daughter had the most trying time in her tenure with her current job. My middle daughter overcame every obstacle thrown at her. Still, we saw God move mightily, and we are so grateful.
Thankfulness and Delighting
Job 22:26 ESV For then you will delight yourself in the Almighty and lift up your face to God.
Job was a man that had plenty to go wrong. He stood on the fact that he did everything right and didn’t deserve what was happening. He and his friends lacked understanding of the unseen realm and how the enemy works. Still, God restored to Job more than he lost.
His friends counseled him to repent of his attitude as they saw it, and God would restore him and be His delight. I find that Job already delighted in the Lord but was being tested and lacked understanding.
This is why we should never complain. We may be in a season of tribulation and testing or under attack from the enemy and not understand what is going on. Regardless, we need to always be thankful that God is for us and not against us and has promises for us- promises to bless us and prosper us.
Complaining to God when we made a bad choice is not the right response either. I think Job’s friend was right about repenting. Returning to God with a heart of thankfulness and gratuity is always the right response, but when we fail to, we have an opportunity to repent, and then we can enjoy and delight in Him.
Serve God With A Glad Heart
Deuteronomy 28:47-48 ESV Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things, therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness, and lacking everything. And he will put a yoke of iron on your neck until he has destroyed you.
Don’t be like the children of Israel who thought that God had put a yoke on them and refused to enjoy His provision and goodness. They instead turned to the gods of the nations around them, who put a hard yoke on them.
We should appreciate what God does for us every day. It may be hard to see it, but if we look around, we can always find others who are much worse off than we are. It also affords us an opportunity to be a blessing to others who are less fortunate. I am grateful to those whom God has used to be a blessing to my family and me.
Here are a few more verses to remind us to be thankful always:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Phil 4:6
“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thess. 5:18
Have a Happy and bless Thanksgiving and enjoy and delight in the Lord always!