Thursday, February 11, 2016

Prayer, Generosity, and Thankfulness

Lately I find myself discouraged by the things I see happening in my country and around the world.  Evil is on the increase and one cannot turn on the news without being shocked at how deeply in trouble our world is in.   I hear other Christian believers wishing for the return of Jesus Christ to right all wrongs, myself included.  What does one do in the meantime?   "And He called ten servants of His, and delivered them ten pounds, and said to them," 'Occupy till I come.'  Luke 19:13 WBT.  Jesus' instructions to us are still relevant today.  Jesus gave His servants resources (ten pounds - symbolic) to occupy till He comes
What are just a few of these resources?  "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds."  2 Corinthians 10:4. KJV.   Daily prayer asking for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven is a resource. There are evil strongholds in the lives of those who have their hearts set against God, and it can only be taken down through diligent faithful prayers.  "Let your gentleness be known to all men, the Lord is at handBe anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:5-7 NKJV
"You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you."  (John Bunyan).  Being generous with others brings its own reward.  It nourishes our soul and brings our level of humanity up a notch.  Having a generous spirit envelopes many facets of life.  A simple smile can change another person's life.  With so many texting, distracted, and looking at gadgets, human eye contact with genuine care can make the difference for a person.  I know it does for me when someone takes the time to be truly nice to me.  Not always getting your own way, or proving your point, or letting that person know verbally they have made a mistake, but returning with a generous and forgiving spirit, is a gift to others and may be a conduit allowing them the freedom from having a major grouch on for the rest of the day.  Generosity from us will lift others up, but in the process we are lifted up.  And for the goal of the Christian, Christ's cause is lifted up.  Jesus was so generous with us and remains so.  We don't always get what we deserve for our actions.  Jesus died in our spot on the cross for our sins.  John 3:16.  What an awesome generous spirit Jesus has!
"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."  1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV.  What a wonderful resource for the believer.  No matter what circumstance you find yourself in, it is a sacrifice of praise to God for us to be thankful to Him, not for the evil, but for the fact He is with us and will help us.  Sometimes He gives us grace to go through something we thought we would never be able to stand up under.  Sometimes we have to establish boundaries against evil.  Sometimes He changes the circumstances.  The constant for us in everything that we go through is an attitude of thankfulness.  
So while I am deeply concerned about the increase of evil that I see and how it makes for such suffering and pain in our lives, I will continue to pray, be generous with others, and be thankful to God.  I will be thankful for the day's grace, strength received, inner joy experienced, and the help from Jesus to make it through.  These are a few of the resources (ten pounds) Jesus has given me.  ~~Lana R. Duda~~