The Life Lived Gratefully Pleases God

Psalm 103: 1-5

Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Have you ever noticed how much we complain?

We complain about the weather.
We complain about our income or our taxes.
We complain about the government.
We complain about other believers,-they aren’t as spiritual as we! We’re the only ones doing it right) When we should be thanking God that all members do not have the same function.
We complain about traffic.
We complain about crowds in the store (when we should be glad we are able to shop).

You get the idea. We thank God for what He’s given while at the same time feeling he should have given more. We seem to think that if God really loved us we would have: less problems, more money, more stuff, more influence, less illness, more good times, less difficult times. But we tell God we’re grateful. If you were God, would you believe us?

Gratitude begins when we realize we do not deserve the inheritance that has been reserved for us. We should spend every waking moment being grateful that God by His Spirit has pulled us from the jaws of Hell. The Lord has taken our dead end life and set it on the course for eternity. We must think often of where we would be if He had not drawn us to Him.

An attitude of gratitude grows as we learn to open our eyes to the blessings we take for granted. When was the last time you thanked God for the breath you were able to take, or the blue sky, or the song of a bird? When did you last thank Him for the Bible, for fellow believers, for the music that lifts your soul? When did you last thank Him for a warm home and conveniences we consider “rights”. When did you last thank Him for your family? When did you last thank Him for the trials that give us perspective?

As we study His words, His actions, and as we become more attuned to His character, we will naturally grow in our gratitude that we are united with one who is so magnificent.

Faith Pleases God

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen Hebrews 11:1

This verse shows that we must have faith in order to please God because it says that it is impossible to please Him without faith. We must believe not only that he exists, but also that He will reward those who put their faith in Him.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for. This would mean faith gives us assurance by bringing us some of the substance of what we are hoping for.

As Christians, our focus should never be on the challenges we’re seeing with our natural eyes, it should be about what God is capable of doing concerning them (Matthew 19:26, Numbers 11:23). The issues of life have to be the very things that compel us to depend up on God more and more.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6

God is pleased when we hand over everything into His hands by stopping to rely on our human effort. He’s pleased when we adopt an attitude of praising and worshiping Him in the midst of trials because that’s the greatest expression of our faith.

God is pleased when we acknowledge our inabilities, shortcomings, and weaknesses by humbling ourselves to Him through faith. God is pleased whenever we rise above our own human thinking, reasoning, viewpoint, and unbelief by trusting Him alone.

Having faith in God simply means looking away from anything that can serve us as a hindrance. Lastly, God is glorified when we stand on the promises found in His Word as the only things worthy of our complete trust and reliance.

I have found the scriptures below to be very helpful in strengthening my faith. God’s power abides within His Word. The Word is so meaningful to God, He has elevated it even above His own name (Psalm 138:2). Moreover, we’re to trust Him on the basis of His Word.

God is the One who always stands behind His Word in order to fulfill it (Jeremiah 1:12).

He’s not human, that He should lie, not a human being, that He should change His mind (Numbers 23:19).

His Word will never return void without fulfilling what He desires and achieve the purpose for which He sent it (Isaiah 55:11).

Don’t Worry, Have Faith In God

Matthew 6:25-26 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Since we are not supposed to base our lives around the things of this world, there’s no need to worry about them! Jesus says in verse 25 “Do not worry about your life.”

Worry fails to recognize that God is working, He is in control and He hasn’t forgotten about us, but our worrying shows a lack of faith in those truths. It’s impossible to just have faith in your head. God expects that the faith in our hearts will be demonstrated in our daily actions and routines. If we have faith, then worry cannot exist.

It is faith that teaches us to be content and secure in the care of our Heavenly Father. Anything else steps over the line of faith. Worry wastes our energy so that we don’t have the energy we need for constructive and creative problem solving. Faith enables us to look past our circumstances and focus on Christ.

Worry makes us shift our priorities away from the ever important now, and onto the unknown future or worse, the unchangeable past. So often we worry about trivial things and we don’t spend enough time worrying about things with eternal significance. Faith enables us to look past the seemingly impossible.

Worry clouds the thinking process. Solutions born out of worry are usually uncreative and unproductive. Worry is, quite simply, a waste of time. Jesus said, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”  Matthew 6:27. Not only will worrying not add anything to your life, it might end up SHORTENING your life! If you have a heart condition, worrying can make your symptoms worse!

Jesus also said, “Don’t worry about tomorrow because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34.

In Genesis 12, God tells Abram “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.
2 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.”

And Abram could have said, “But Lord, how can I leave my country when I don’t know where I’m going? How am I going to make it financially? How am I going to be able to support my family? What if the people in the land of land Canaan are hostile toward me?”

Abram could have worried himself right out of the will of God. But instead, the Bible tells us in Genesis 15:6 that “Abram believed the Lord, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” And as a result, God blessed him and made him the father of many nations. Trusting God to provide eliminates the need for worrying.

Nothing in all the world can overcome faith—no fear or anxiety or worry, no hatred or evil, no suffering or failure or loss. When we have faith in God it transforms us, empowers us, lifts us. It teaches us that love is stronger than hate, that good is stronger than evil, that hope is stronger than despair. It entrusts all to God, and with it we can live in hope and freedom, joy and peace.

To paraphrase the words of Jesus in Luke 17:6 “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could uproot any worry or anxiety, any trouble or misery, any obstacle to love, any hatred or fear, and cast them all into the sea.” All things are possible to those who live in faith.

And over in Philippians 4:6, Paul says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

In other words, “if you hand everything over to God in prayer, He will provide you with peace of heart and peace of mind. And He’ll take care of all the other worries in your life, because verse 19 goes on to say that “my God will supply all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus”.

There can be no doubt that trusting God with every area of our life eliminates the need for worrying. Therefore, do not worry, have faith in God. Trust Him at all times.

Let Your Light Shine

Matthew 5:14-16 You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others,that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

You are the light of the world! What does light do? Light illuminates. Light makes it possible to see; light makes invisible things visible.

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