This is Memorial Day week-end. It is the time that is set aside to remember those that have served, fought and given their lives for the freedom we are blessed with in this country. It is also the time to remember those that have gone to be with the Lord before us. As I was praying about what to share this week my heart thought of everything we can be thankful for now even as we are still caught up in a world situation. I am so thankful for all those heroes who fought and gave their lives for this country’s freedom and are still fighting today. They bring hope. Without hope there can be no future. Without the hope of those who gave their lives for this country we would not be who we are today. Without hope people perish. We can remember the many times in our lives that we may have felt hopeless about different situations. Yet, as we recall those experiences we know that our heavenly Father was there to bring real hope and expectation even when we saw nothing.
Being thankful with hope and complaining do not go together. My thoughts are that is ok to discuss situations, thoughts, and opinions but guard your heart. Whenever we cross the line of complaining, judging and anything negativity we have gone to a place that causes heart issues. This whole world situation has taken many people to constant complaining. I will admit I have gone to that point. I imagine most of us have because this has been an experience like we have never seen or had before. Complaining takes us down the wrong road in our thinking. It can cause a lot of stress, worry and negativity. We don’t see clearly when we are complaining all the time. Complaining is the opposite of gratitude. I have definitely figured out when I cross the line. I can feel it inside. It’s like I become someone I am not and my heart gets heavy. When so much negativity and strife is happening in our world around us how can we guard our hearts and minds in Him and see clearly?
The Lord has showed me I need to guard my heart with all vigilance. “So above all, guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are. Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23 Then He reminded me of one of my favorite chapters in the Word, Psalm 1.
“What delight comes to the one who follows God’s ways! He won’t walk in step with the wicked, nor share the sinner’s way, nor be found sitting in the scorner’s seat.
His pleasure and passion is remaining true to the Word of “I Am,” meditating day and night in the true revelation of light.
He will be standing firm like a flourishing tree planted by God’s design, deeply rooted by the brooks of bliss, bearing fruit in every season of his life. He is never dry, never fainting, ever blessed, ever prosperous. But how different are the wicked. All they are is dust in the wind—driven away to destruction! The wicked will not endure the day of judgment, for God will not defend them. Nothing they do will succeed or endure for long, for they have no part with those who walk in truth. But how different it is for the righteous! The Lord embraces their paths as they move forward while the way of the wicked leads only to doom.”
Here is an answer to the question of how do we guard our hearts with all diligence in all this negativity. “His pleasure and passion is remaining true to the Word of “I Am,” meditating day and night in the true revelation of light. He will be standing firm like a flourishing tree planted by God’s design, deeply rooted by the brooks of bliss, bearing fruit in every season of his life. He is never dry, never fainting, ever blessed, ever prosperous.”
“Don’t you know? Haven’t you been listening? Yahweh is the one and only everlasting God, the Creator of all you can see and imagine! He never gets weary or worn out. His intelligence is unlimited; he is never puzzled over what to do!” Isaiah 40:28
The Lord isn’t even surprised when we start to get weary and complaining in situations. He knows us. He loves us. He cares for us! All we have to do is come to Him with a surrendered heart, a heart that is desiring to remain true to the Word of “I Am,” meditating day and night in the true revelation of light. He isn’t puzzled over what to do or what is happening in our lives. Situations happen in our lives. Trials come. The uncertain times in our country and world aren’t the only thing happening in any of our lives. There were issues, hurt relationships, concerns, doubts, physical problems that we had at the beginning of March when the sudden crisis got piled on top of our life issues. The other issues felt buried for a time but are finding their way back to the top of our thoughts. I’ve had a couple nights where I’ve woke up at 3 or 4 thinking on unresolved hurts from a few months ago. I’m so thankful that I chose not to let them cause me to lose sleep. For me – I had to physically get up and purposely change my focus. I chose to give my issues to the Lord and I actually went back to sleep. It wasn’t just a time of sleepless worry, it was a time of tears as I tried to find a solution to my problem. I honestly was surprised and thankful when I woke up a couple hours later – worry free. “Now, because of you, Lord, I will lie down in peace and sleep comes at once, for no matter what happens, I will live unafraid!” Psalm 4:8
Struggles, apart from the virus, are still happening in each of our lives. Blessings are still abundant in each of our lives! We just got caught off guard with this new attack on our country and the world and that is still not resolved. I feel, in the natural, there will be a few more months of uncertainties, changes and surprises before this is over. But we can’t wait for it to be over to get our hearts right. We need to thank Him, praise Him and worship Him day and night. He has to be our only answer! He is our only “go to” for whatever we need. Celebrate Him!
“Lord, I will worship you with extended hands as my whole heart explodes with praise! I will tell everyone everywhere about your wonderful works and how your marvelous miracles exceed expectations!
I will jump for joy and shout in triumph as I sing your song and make music for the Most High God.
For when you appear, I worship while all of my enemies run in retreat. They stumble and perish before your presence. Listen, everyone! Sing out your praises to the God
who lives and rules within Zion! Tell the world about all the miracles he has done!” Psalm 9:1-3,11
“Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!” Ephesians 3:18-19
Take time to be thankful. Thankfulness pushes out any doubt, fear and hopelessness. Remembrance and thanksgiving go together. Having thanksgiving in our hearts is so powerful and brings healing to our lives. As we fill our heart with thanksgiving and hope we are forgetting the junk and remembering the promises. We are remembering His faithfulness, His mercy, His grace, His joy, His power, His ways, His wonderful love. Don’t forget what the Lord has done for you and all those around you that are giving to better our future. Say “Thank You” today. I say “thank you” to you! I say “Thank you” to our church family and all your love, faith, prayers, hope and support. As pastors, we are thankful to all of you. You have been amazing during this time. Your understanding and your prayers for us as we make difficult decisions are definitely felt. The best is yet to come as we see an outpouring of many who want to know our Jesus. Together we are going forward in mighty strength and power in this new time He has put before us. “Be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31:24 “And now, Lord, what do I wait for and expect? My hope and expectation are in You.” Psalm 39:7