I Give Thanks To The Father For All Things, yes,even spills!
I Give Thanks Father For All Things, yes, even spills!
It was 4 a.m., I had just relocated my prayer time, moving from the upstairs to the Living Room, taking a break in order to brew some decaff and feed Alli, our little dog.
Always, as you’ve probably noticed, there are tests throughout each day. Some are small, some are big, but in each, we have a choice: do we react negatively or positively to the circumstances? Little did I know that as I entered the Living Room, the first test of the day was not far behind. If I’d known, I could have prevented it, but then it wouldn’t have been a test.
I set my cup of coffee on the floor resting upon top of a thesaurus. I’m in the habit of doing this so that I can better reach it from a kneeling position. It saves me from turning around to grab it off the table. I just hadn’t figured on what happened next.
Just as I was getting myself into a praying position, my small NIV Bible took on a life all it’s own and went into a slide. Off the sofa it went, and “Smack!” into my cup. The hit was broadside.
“Oh no,” I cried. The Bible appeared to be well-aimed, like a well-aimed bowling bowl hitting all twelve pins. “Strike!" I could not have planned it any better if I had tried. The cup fell sideways, and coffee spilled every where, the spreading all across the wood floor, creating a huge creamy puddle and creeping under the edge of the large area rug.
Brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations (many trials, many testings), knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that you might be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:2-4.
It was my first faith test of the day. Would I pass?
Let’s find out. What was my reaction?
I got a reminder from my spirit, and I obeyed. Quickly, before my mind could stop me, my arms lifted into the air, “Father, I give thanks in all circumstances concerning me for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning me.”
I had His word of instruction on this,
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
What’s His will? 1 Thessalonians tells us “In every thing give thanks...” Ephesians 5: 20 tells us, “Giving thanks always for all things...” Colossians 1:12 tells us, “Giving thanks unto the Father...” Again, Colossians 3:17 says, “giving thanks to God and the Father by Him (Christ Jesus).
Is God trying to tell us some thing? I think so. We are to give thanks no matter how we feel or what we see or what we hear.
So had I passed this first test of the day? With flying colours.
I flew to the kitchen on Angels wings( well, sort of!) to grab some paper towels so I could mop up the mess. While I grabbed for them, the Lord said to me, “Use the dishtowel.” I was just going to get out a fresh one for dishes today, so I thanked Him for the excellent idea. And I thanked Him even more when the mess was mopped up quite easily and quickly with the towel. It also saved money not using the paper towels. I welcome the Lord’s ideas. He is always the author of great ideas, recipes, and suggestions. He never leads me wrong. He’s also the author and finisher of my faith.
And this spill was a small test of faith. For we each have tests, whether we have ever recognised as that before, they are still tests, and God can use these tests to prepare us for greater things, when we make the right choice, which is to place our trust in Him, and to follow His Word in all things. Some tests are big, some tests are small. But you may notice that the results are always the same: the faith is tested. And what are we to do? Exactly what God says to do: Give thanks, and endure, stand, and develop more patience.
When I looked up the word, patience, I made a discovery. I’ve discovered that in the Bible, patience and endurance are often interchangeable. Patience is a fruit of the spirit that we cannot do without. We need it for every thing, just like we need faith. In fact, we cannot win any battle without it. To face any thing and win, we must endure. We must have patience.
Patience is important in fighting the enemy. And it is a key along with our faith inheriting the promises of God. Hebrews 6:12 ,
“but [be] followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
Unknowingly, I had prepared for this first test of my day. I always begin my day by lifting up my voice in praise to God. But this morning, I also took time to sing, which I don’t always do. I sang about joy, for the joy of the Lord is our strength. With His strength, we can handle any thing. “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” Singing scripture songs about this joy of the Lord strengthens the joy. It actually is a confession in song, so it releases the joy that is in our heart into the atmosphere to work for our benefit.
I prepared also by praying. Call it my prayer before prayer. Like Daniel and Paul, I humble myself before my Savoir and Creator each morning first thing, always it keeps me aware of who is the Creator and who is the created. I’m not trying to show you how very humble and wonderful I am by doing this. Instead, I want to use this to point out that pride in Self is a deadly thing. It was the first sin, the sin that brought satan, known as Lucifer, to the place where he thought he was god, and that he should exalt himself against the one true God, His Creator. Unfortunately, Adam also fell because of pride, and this original sin was passed down to each of us. The world teaches that it’s a good thing, but that’s a lie. Still,though I’m not proud to say this, pride was something I was always prone to, and I must always work hard to keep this in line, for pride blinds.
Mostly, when I get before God in the early morning darkness, I offer up a prayer of commitment, but I add 1 Thessalonians 1:18. “In every thing give thanks...In every thing give thanks..in every thing give thanks...”
And I do. Most of the time. I promise that in every thing I will give thanks no matter what the devil may throw my way, be it small or large, complex or easy.
This is His will for me, and this is His will for you.
I don’t always get it right, and neither will you, but I passed this test. Not because I wasn’t tempted with negative thoughts hitting me like darts on a target. I’d be lying if I said I never have them. Ha! I’m not immune. Not by far. In fact, I often wonder if I am not hit more rather than less. I’ve asked the Lord before, “Lord, just how long is the evil day? (see Ephesians 6 for this) Is it as long as an earth day or is it a heavenly day?” Recently I noticed that in II Peter when he speaks of trials of faith, unlike Paul, he uses the word, “season.” I’ve not had a direct answer from the Lord on this question, but I am beginning to think that the day or the season of a trial, a test, or a temptation varies each time, just as they vary in type. Paul says day and Peter says season, but it’s a time of varying length. This is true in my own experience.
Yet, for this attack I was prepared. I had fed on scriptures. And the joy in my heart was released. I had prayed. I was strong. Not strong in Self, but strong in the Lord.
And I vowed to do as commanded. I vowed to give the Lord that all important thanks. I confess it constantly about myself. I say I give thanks, I say I will give thanks. But no, I’m not immune. When that sinking feeling hits along with the negative thoughts which are opposite to God’s Word, I still had the split-second choice to make: Would I take hold of the negative and run with it, or...?
Sometimes I’ve chosen wrong, but this time? I chose right.
The more we take God’s
advice, the better our day goes. So each day, I urge you to do these three things:
1. Feed on the Word. Put it first in your life.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom...” Colossians 3:16.
2. Say it.
“...let us hold fast our profession. “ Hebrews 3:1.
Say what? Say the Word. The Bible speaks to us often about speaking God’s Word. Two of the many words for it in the New Testament are, “profession" and “confession". Many think these words only speak of confessing our sin before God. That’s part but not all. For the meaning of them is “agreement" or “speaking the same thing". Who are we to be in agreement with? God. So confess what God says about you. Speak the Word, or words in line with the Word, about yourself and your circumstances. Say it. Say it. Say it.
3. Praise and give thanks to God.
"Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be on the vines; the labour of the loive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in their stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation." Habakkuk 3:17-18.
Habakkuk makes it clear: we are rejoice and give praise no matter what happens. It can seem hard to do. But don't let your head tell you you can't do it. You CAN do it. You can do anyt hing, and every thing through Christ Jesus. Tell Him, you don't feel good doing it, but that you will obey, and by choice, by determination you will praise Him. Then, do it! And you shall see, your decision to obey will affect your entire day in a good way.
If we learn to do these three things: Feed...Say...Praise and thank...we won’t have to go around the walls that the enemy places before us. We can go through them.
Create victories in your day, in your life, by allowing the art of praise to flourish and grow within you. Then, make sure the praise comes out of your mouth, spilling forth from your heart.
Today, don’t allow little spills throw you. Mop them up with praise.
Confess with me,
“I give thanks in everything for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning me. And yes, I give thanks even for this.”
Give thanks and you’ll continue your day in joy.
You may be thinking, “Can I continue my day in joy after what happened to me?” Yes, you can. Making the decision to be thanking God (in your heart, not in feeling) is the hard part, but it only lasts a second. Get past that and you’ll have joy no matter how trying things may get. If you don’t believe me, read on.
I refilled my cup, returned and knelt to pray. Instantly, a small cushion I had stacked on top of others beside me fell. It fell right into that same NIV Bible, and it was like the game of mousetrap all over again. Was history repeating itself? Perhaps I should velcro that Bible in place! For as I watched in disbelief,the Bible again slid off the sofa, and with a resounding“Smack!” it hit the floor, narrowly missing the cup.
For a second time in 15 short minutes, I gave thanks.
Ahh, this coffee would taste good to the last drop. I would drink it with a song in my heart.
4 hours later, the ringing phone then shattered the stillness of my day. I thought, “Who could that be at this hour?” My father-in-law was on the end. He was having a bit of a dilemma. Could Chris drive over?
Hmmm-mm, here was Chris’s first test of the day. How would he fare? Perhaps if I present it to him with a cup of fresh coffee. Make his with caffeine and on the strong side, taking care that there is no NIV Bible in sight.