A Devotion by Cheryl Zelenka
“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.” Unknown
“Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.” 1 Timothy 6:6-8 (NKJV)
With each rising sun, we have a fresh opportunity to be thankful. Our Lord pours out a great multitude of blessings every day but we miss the majority of them. We either overlook their splendor in our haste to get though the hustle and bustle of life, or simply ignore to acknowledge them because they seem so small and insignificant. Really nothing God does or offers is inconsequential. It is when we learn to acknowledge the small kindnesses of God that we are able to live life with a more abundant joy, peace, and contentment.
That blessed gift of free will means that we have a choice to either greet our day grumbling and complaining or praising the one above. We can choose to be bitter, unhappy, ungrateful, angry, and sullen; or we can accept our circumstances and view them as God’s way of blessing us beyond measure. Hardship, pain, sorrow, heartache, storms, and struggles are all loving gifts from a devoted and caring Creator. How so?
With love, our God takes each of us in hand and molds us into magnificent and stunning vessels of service that will give Him glory and pleasure. Through the fire of affliction He brings our impurities to the surface, thus strengthening our form. Our choice to persevere through the heat ends with the reward of increased endurance. Therefore, we are able to rest in contentment while God perfects us, knowing He will provide just what we need to endure our trial.
While resting in His care, our spiritual eyes grow keener and more sensitive to our surroundings. While trusting our Potter, we are rewarded with a deeper sense of awe. We now see and acknowledge the marvelous wonders and sweet blessings all around us. Our heart recognizes that our every need has been met, so thankfulness rises up. The losses in our life no longer seem to be an anchor pulling us to the deep. Regret flees like an arrow shot into the air. What once mattered is no longer our main focus. Our eyes have been lifted to the heavens and are now transfixed on Christ.
With artistic flair, God adds details of beauty to each one of His children. These characteristics enhance our use for His service. They are not just decorative. They come in the form of exquisite gifts, divine in nature. Once we come out of the furnace, we find ourselves solid, strong, and mature. No longer a lump of clay, we cry out with passion, ”Here I am Lord, use me. I am yours.”
Loved ones who have passed on, money that was lost, and opportunities that slipped away now seem to hurt us less. We have gained insight by the trial we have endured and thank God for the lessons and experience gain. We have grown in wisdom, which is far more valuable than rubies and diamonds.
So thus the realization, you are richer now than before your trial. By the eyes of the world you may have suffered great loss. However, in the eyes of the Spirit you have gained so much more. Thankfulness should flood your very being. Will you purpose to keep this attitude in your heart every day? For through faith you “know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” (Ro. 8:28)
Maybe yesterday was rough and you let God know your feelings by grumbling and complaining. He is always faithful and true to listen, even to our discontent. But surely, God would rather hear words of thanks and praise. Look around you now and ask God to reveal all the blessings right under you nose. You will be amazed! Your heart is about to change into one of absolute thankfulness. To Him be the glory. Amen!
“I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving.” Psalm 69:30 (NKJV)
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:11-12 (NIV)
“Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.” ~Benjamin Franklin
To purchase Cheryl’z book of devotions FACING TRIALS: THOUGHTS FOR MEDITATION go to…. http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/AdvancedSearch/Default.aspx?SearchTerm=Zelenka
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