True Thankfulness

“Lord, thank you for the cross.  The worse thing that ever happened to You is the best thing that ever happened to me.”

This summer I’ve been intentionally focusing on my attitude.  God is revealing in me my attitude of complaining, covetousness, and more, with my lack of “true” thankfulness. He isn’t finished with me yet!  It’s going to take at least all summer, if not my lifetime to fully complete this work He’s started in me (Philippians 1:6).

But this morning God helped me take a huge step forward when I prayed the above prayer. Again: “Lord, thank you for the cross.  The worse thing that ever happened to You is the best thing that ever happened to me.”

We all want happiness, to be void of pain, failures, hurts, disappointments, regrets… But think about it, “The worse thing that ever happened to Jesus, is the best thing that ever happened to us.”  He willingly suffered and He’s thankful that He died for us.  (“Then He took the cup, and gave thanks…”  Matt. 26:27).  That right there is the “true” meaning of thankfulness–He was thankful for the worst thing that ever happened to Him–the good, the bad, and the ugly.

It’s easy to be thankful for the beautiful day, my kids, vacations, friends…but it’s another thing to be thankful for heartache, disease, trails…  True thankfulness trusts God and is grateful for even the bad things, even the things we wouldn’t choose for our enemy because, like Jesus, the worse thing that ever happened to you could be the best thing that ever happened to someone else.  God wastes nothing and He will use your pain to help others, if you let Him.

I Thess. 5:18 “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

God is bringing me to a sacred place where I can say, “Thank you, God, for this thing that you’re using in my life, you’ve allowed because you love me, and I trust You.”  When I find that kind of “true” thankfulness, I will experience a depth of “true” joy, not happiness, but deep, abiding joy.  God is moving me there one step at a time and I am “truly” thankful for the process.

“giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,”  Ephesians 5:20

Recommended reading: Lord, Change My Attitude, by James MacDonald

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