I grew up singing (okay, I wasn’t really singing back then… but I was listening) lots of songs in church, but a phrase in one song still sticks out in my memory:
“Count your many blessings, see what God has done!”
I didn’t understand that line. I do now.
Looking back over the last twelve months of my life, I see God’s grace/provision/fingerprints all over my path. I’ve often been less than stellar at walking along that path, but God has proven faithful beyond my capacity for failure. I can’t help but be awed and thankful for all He has done in my life during that time… But that got me thinking…
I’ve heard it said that it’s harder to praise God during times of trouble than times of peace. Perhaps for some, that’s true. If we feel a sense of entitlement that our life should be a peachy stroll through the park (regardless of our propensity for sin and selfishness), then when things go awry we think God has somehow failed or wronged us. How far from the truth! But I’m seeing the other side of things. Pain and sufferings are allowed by God because of this profound thought:
It is hard for us to give God praise and have reliance during times of certainty and comfort.
When things are going well, we don’t think we need rescue. For those of us saved by Christ, we didn’t think we needed saving until we realized the gravity of our circumstance. I can remember some of the hardest times in my life, including the loss of a loved one and a crippling fear of life changing decisions. They were times that I was torn down to the point that I had two choices: rely wholeheartedly on a Savior, or believe that I was wholly on my own. Perhaps, allowing us to go through tough times is one of God’s ways of realigning our hearts to Him and reminding us of our reliance on Him. This doesn’t mean that all bad things are punishment, or that we should fear good times. It’s simply a paradigm shift for viewing our situations, and understanding them for the blessings that they are.
I am struck by the notion that God is more concerned with our hearts than our comfort. On the surface, this may seem a scary thought. Contrary, we serve a God whose understanding is greater than ours, and who reigns in the realm of eternity. I trust His judgement.
So, our state of being beckons a response. I will do my best to chose to glorify a trustworthy God. Will you join me in starting this revolution of thought?
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
– Romans 8:26-28