Gratitude Opens The Heart
Joy is one of the first fruits of the Spirit to be abandoned in the face of difficulties. Difficulties can overwhelm the heart as we instinctively try to flee or control the situation. How quick we are to forget that God’s love is bigger than all our problems. If we but trust in Him, we can find the strength to cling to His hand come what may. We can learn to always find something to be thankful for, so that our joy may return, even in the midst of pain.
“My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1.2-4)
Thank Him Who Calms The Sea
How hard it is to be thankful,
For a cross filled with grief and pain;
The heart’s instinct is to grumble:
“Why me? Why now?” beneath the strain.
The thankful heart finds room to breathe;
God’s love is given latitude.
The heart’s instincts no longer seethe —
Grace and peace grow with gratitude.
The grateful heart can find meaning,
Even as trials overwhelm;
Rather than take blows careening,
The Lord’s trusted to take the helm.
In Him the grateful heart shelters,
As wind and wave rage on and foam;
His Spirit rests on the waters —
In Him, all hearts find their way home.
The humbled heart can make the choice,
To trust in God’s hand and rejoice.
“May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from His glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.” (Colossians 1.11-12)
O Lord, thank you for your abundant gifts of grace wrapped in the terrible packaging of my trials. May I always find You near and may I taste Your joy again in the midst of suffering, for I trust that You always know what’s best for me. Amen.
(c) Paul Buis, 2009