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Thursday, September 25, 2014

No Matter What

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name” (Hebrews 13:15, NIV).
My gift to the Lord is a thankful heart. It is a heart filled with praise no matter what happens in my life. When things are hard—when fear and worry persist—when problems overwhelm, I will look for reasons to be thankful. I will seek to realize the blessings He gives that often slip by unobserved. The gift of thanksgiving in my heart—in spite of pain or problems in my life—is my sacrifice of praise.
There are always blessings, but they are often missed because my mind is focused on my circumstance and not on His faithfulness to carry me through it. My mind is consumed with worry or fear instead of His peace because I have not given Him my struggle. But if really seek I will discover the blessing of His grace that he extends to carry me. I often miss that grace because I am struggling so hard to control what I don't have the ability to handle. Often I am so consumed with the pain of my own life, that I miss what my own brothers and sisters face in their own. I miss the blessing of sacrificing myself for the sake of someone else.
Each day I will open my eyes to His blessings around me. I will realize that others have needs, and I will give myself away in spite of my own circumstance. When I reach out to others I am not so self-consumed with my own problems. My focus changes. My heart is placed on another person's needs, and the selfishness of my own will is broken. The wall which has imprisoned my own pain comes down, and praise and thankfulness spring up. I discover that in giving myself away, I receive more and more grace from Him. It is powerful enough to carry me through my own circumstance, and make me realize that I have not been left alone. The praise that once felt like a sacrifice no longer feels like one. Thankfulness and praise rise from a heart that knows He is able and will take care of my life no matter what.

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