Gratitude in Affliction

Daily Devotional.
InTouch.org with Dr. Charles Stanley

Happy THANKserving!
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Read | Psalm 119:65-72

Z Zayin.

    49Remember the word to Your servant,
         In which You have made me hope.
    50This is my comfort in my affliction,
         That Your word has revived me.
    51The arrogant utterly deride me,
         Yet I do not turn aside from Your law.
    52I have remembered Your ordinances from [b]of old, O LORD,
         And comfort myself.
    53Burning indignation has seized me because of the wicked,
         Who forsake Your law.
    54Your statutes are my songs
         In the house of my pilgrimage.
    55O LORD, I remember Your name in the night,
         And keep Your law.
    56This has become mine,
         That I observe Your precepts.

C Heth.

    57The LORD is my portion;
         I have promised to keep Your words.
    58I sought Your favor with all my heart;
         Be gracious to me according to Your word.
    59I considered my ways
         And turned my feet to Your testimonies.
    60I hastened and did not delay
         To keep Your commandments.
    61The cords of the wicked have encircled me,
         But I have not forgotten Your law.
    62At midnight I shall rise to give thanks to You
         Because of Your righteous ordinances.
    63I am a companion of all those who fear You,
         And of those who keep Your precepts.
    64The earth is full of Your lovingkindness, O LORD;
         Teach me Your statutes.

T Teth.

    65You have dealt well with Your servant,
         O LORD, according to Your word.
    66Teach me good discernment and knowledge,
         For I believe in Your commandments.
    67Before I was afflicted I went astray,
         But now I keep Your word.
    68You are good and do good;
         Teach me Your statutes.
    69The arrogant [c]have forged a lie against me;
         With all my heart I will observe Your precepts.
    70Their heart is covered with fat,
         But I delight in Your law.
    71It is good for me that I was afflicted,
         That I may learn Your statutes.
    72The law of Your mouth is better to me
         Than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

Y Yodh.

    73Your hands made me and [d]fashioned me;
         Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments.
    74May those who fear You see me and be glad,
         Because I wait for Your word.
    75I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are righteous,
         And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.
    76O may Your lovingkindness comfort me,
         According to Your word to Your servant.
    77May Your compassion come to me that I may live,
         For Your law is my delight.
    78May the arrogant be ashamed, for they subvert me with a lie;
         But I shall meditate on Your precepts.
    79May those who fear You turn to me,
         Even those who know Your testimonies.
    80May my heart be blameless in Your statutes,
         So that I will not be ashamed.

At Thanksgiving, we typically express gratitude for God’s blessings. But did you ever consider thanking Him for something that doesn’t seem like a blessing—such as a trying circumstance you want Him to remove or change? A grateful heart is most precious to God when, humanly speaking, our situations don’t warrant giving thanks. By making four foundational decisions, we can begin to see the value of our adversities and respond with appreciation.    

Believe and trust the Lord. Only by viewing life from a scriptural perspective can we understand His purposes in our trials and trust His wisdom in allowing them.

Accept the situation as coming from God—either directly sent or permissively
allowed. If we truly believe He’s working for our good (Rom 8:28-29), we can choose to receive each difficulty as coming from His loving hand. Then we can say “Thank You.”

Submit to God in the circumstance. Although we may not like the situation, knowing that God “[is] good and does good” (v. 68) allows us to confidently place our lives under His authority.

Draw from Him the strength to endure. No one has the ability within himself to endure hardships with gratefulness. Only by relying on the Lord can believers go through adversity with an appreciative heart.

Now, think about that circumstance you would like changed, and with a new mindset, offer this prayer to God: “Lord, I accept this situation as coming from You. In faith and trust, I place myself under Your loving authority, and draw from You the strength I need to endure with gratitude.”

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About jam4JESUS

I... 'will seek [First] the LORD my God, and I will find Him if I seek Him with all my heart and with all my soul.' Deut. 4:29 I... 'shall love the LORD my God with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my strength.' Deut. 6:5 I... 'Trust in the LORD with all my heart, And lean not on my own understanding; In all ways... acknowledge Him, And He shall make my path straight.' Proverbs 3:5-6 I... 'remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you' 2Tim. 1:6 I... 'thank God, whom I serve... without ceasing... I... remember YOU in my prayers night and day,' 2Tim. 1:3 I... am to 'Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let my requests be made known to God' Phil. 4:6 I... KNOW: 'I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.' Phil.4:13 'My God shall supply all my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.' Phil. 4:19 'My GOD will never leave me, nor forsake me.' Heb. 13:5 JESUS so loves me, this I... KNOW
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