This is the song that has been going through my head all day, so I wanted to share. It is an awesome and amazingly upbeat song. Please listen to it. It's VERY good! Psalms 118:24 "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalms 118 in itself is awesome (well the whole Bible is), but thought I would share some scriptures that have touched me tonight, and given me comfort. Psalms 116: 7 "Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you." Today and yesterday I made a list of all my thanks to the Lord. If you are struggling today, I would suggest to make a list of thanks to the Lord. When you do this, it comforts you as you begin to realize the many blessings you have from the Lord. I know it helped me. It comforts during times of trials. James 1:2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
My study bible (which is amazingly awesome) says in its notes "The word 'trials' (Greek peirasmoi) refers to persecution and troubles from the world or Satan. (1) The believer must meet these trials with joy (Matt. 5:11-12; Romans 5:3; 1 Peter 1:6), for testing will develop persevering faith, proven character and mature hope (Rom. 5:3-5). Our faith can only reach full maturity when faced with difficulties and opposition (v. 3). (2) James calls these trials a "testing of your faith." Trials are sometimes brought into believers' lives so that God can test the sincerity of their faith. Scripture nowhere teaches that troubles in life are always an indication that God is displeased with us. They can be a sign that He recognizes our firm commitment to him (Job 1-2).
Temptation and trials are different. James 1:13 says "When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone: but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then after desire has conceived, it gives full birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." My study bible says in the notes "No person who sins can evade guilt by throwing the blame on God. God may test us in order to strengthen our faith, but never with the intent of leading us to sin. God's nature demonstrates that He cannot be a source of temptation to sin."
I John 1:8-10 "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives."
James 5:11 "As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy."
Psalms 116:12 "How can I repay the Lord for all His goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord."
Psalms 118:1-8 "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever." 4 "Let those who fear the Lord say: "His love endures forever." 5 In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and He answered me by setting me free. 6 The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? 7 The Lord is with me; He is my Helper. 8 I will look in triumph on my enemies. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man."
Psalms 118:24 "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
So if you're having trouble finding things to be thankful for — let me help you get started: 1) Jesus saved me; 2) my sins are forgiven; 3) I am promised eternal life in Heaven with my Savior and Lord; 4) I have an awesome family (both my biological family and my married into family — they are all amazing!); 5) I have the BEST kids on the planet; 6) I have a house to live in; 7) I have warm water in which to get clean, rest in, soak in; 8) I have the most amazing husband ever, who is so kind, warm, caring, compassionate, loving, funny, HOT; 9) I have an amazing church, pastor, friends (both old and new); 10) I have food to eat; 11) I have a computer and internet for being able to communicate the message of the gospel, talk to my friends, meet new friends, etc. 12) I have health insurance; 13) I have a bed to sleep in; 14) I have a husband who sleeps very soundly so that I can be on the computer when I can't sleep, or I can read in the middle of the night when I can't sleep; 15) I have pets that are so much fun, loving, great companions; 16) I have some of the most amazing friends on the planet! 17) Icy hot Cream — ahhhh.
Just doing this right now has helped me tremendously tonight. These thanks are not to brag on me — but to brag on the Lord. He is the reason I have these things to be thankful for — He is the reason for my everything. (2 Corinthians 10:17)
Today I had one of the best days I've had in a long time. It was one of those home run, hit it out of the parks, going down in the records kind of days. I was so full of the JOY of the Lord. Filled to overflowing. It was awesome. My pain was manageable enough today that I was able to get out and do stuff. The Lord allowed me to minister to so many people today, visit with some awesome friends, had coffee with another awesome friend who is understanding and kind. Just a lot of GREAT things. God also gave me some more ideas for ministry opportunities that I'm very excited about. Can't wait to do it, if it is His will!
Then I get the slam. This one felt like a kick in the gut, ripped off an old scab, open, bleeding, raw, and then rub salt in it kind of slam. Processing this one has been a bit of a challenge — I wanted to scream, vent, give into my flesh and blast outwards. Instead, I cried out to the Lord. Put it down on paper. Then made my list of thanks. When you go through trials, how you handle them is what matures you. How you handle conflicts with people is what matures you. Don't avoid them — face them, gracefully, tactfully, calmly. Accept responsibility for your part. Go to the person as it says in the bible, don't just tell others so that it gets back to the person who has offended you. Return people's phone calls so that things can be made right. Don't ignore emails from people just so you don't have to answer for whatever. Do the biblical thing.
So what happens if you have a person on the other end who won't return your calls, emails, you hear them saying things about you? What then? You forgive — Jesus said 70 times. Sure, there are two sides to every story, so get the other side out with the person on the other end, not go behind their backs.
Yes, I have made the choice again to forgive, but this is definitely something I need help with from the Lord on — my prayer through many of these things is "God, don't let me get bitter, let me get better." And "Help ME!" Please pray for me because I feel stuck, and need His help even more than ever. I always need Him, and can't do my life without Him — but this one is a tough one. Thanks, and much love to all. M PS. I do feel much better now than I did a few hours ago, and this is ALL because of Jesus Christ and His Power, His Amazing Love, His Amazing Forgiveness, Mercy, gentleness, kindness, love and compassion. For that, I am also thankful for. When people disappoint, and I will guarantee you they will, God will never disappoint. He promises to never leave us nor forsake us. During these times, I draw closer to Him than ever. For that I am thankful — and for that closeness, I am thankful for the trials. So, God bless these people.