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How Challenging Times Cultivate Gratitude

| November 21, 2018
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True gratitude is formed in the oddest of places. Sure, we are thrilled when something we ached for finally comes to pass, but had we not gone through the waiting room first, we might have a more lackluster response when we are blessed and take blessings for granted.

Expected blessings don't likely cultivate as much gratitude as troubles do. It's how we are wired. We tend to think we will achieve a certain outcome if we do the right thing, but this fallen world does not make such promises and neither did our Savior. In fact, it is the opposite.

Ever notice how everything seems to break at once? Our entitlement attitude can creep up at such moments. Why does everything have to be so hard?

But then we find a surprise rising in our souls. When we don't get our way, the news is bad and life is hard, we are reminded that this life is not our joy and our gratitude springs from an unlikely place.

Right there in the middle of a mess, we find joy. And we find it in God's word as His Spirit guides us to higher thinking, above the din around us. Brought to our senses afresh, we affirm to our souls the truth that fills our being with a gratitude nothing can quench. This is not Heaven, but we can have peace right in the middle of any situation we find ourselves in. We can know God and walk with Him through all of life's misadventures and blessings.

This, my friends, is genuine gratitude.

Gratitude formed from hard knocks because we know that God will use every bump and bruise for our good and His glory. 

Gratitude when we catch our breath for a reprieve and recognize that God sustained us through it all.

Gratitude when we see our children mimicking the faith they first saw in us that humbles us that God would use us at all for the high privilege of parenting.

Gratitude when we fail at an endeavor because it humbles us to remember what matters most and redefines what success is supposed to look like—faithfulness.

Gratitude when life gets hard—real hard. Because such times produce character we never would have earned had we not walked those steps and Jesus carried us all the way.

This Thanksgiving, as we spend time with loved ones, may we cherish the gift of those precious people around us and when our flesh gets bugged by things out of our control, may we recognize afresh the calling we have to steward gratitude so those around us can also glorify God at all times.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! We thank God for you and pray you will be refreshed as you remember all our great God has done for us. Let's steward our faith and finances well for the next generation. 

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)
"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."


Yours for Wise Stewardship,

Jeff Rogers

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