Oh Lord! I thank you for my life and for the thousands of ways you show your goodness! This is my song of praise to you, in the midnight hour when nothing seems quite right and everything off-balance. I praise you because I can see your hidden smile as you watch me live and breathe and wrestle with the enormity of this life and all I can’t control. Your hand on me is firm and gentle, never forceful, never weak. I feel an amazing sense of peace. The unexpected kind that comes like the silence after a storm---a long exhale. Though I quake in the tenuousness of my humanity, you remind me that you are the God of the universe, my Savior, and my Father who loves me and suddenly, the Truth is so much bigger than my fear! If God is for us, who can be against us? What can separate us from the love of Christ? For we are more than conquerors (see Romans 8:31-39)…and truly, what more do I need? The Lord is my strength and my portion forever, and he will take care of me.
Here is another truth I have come to know more deeply. Many times I have failed to put it into practice and it rings true more now than ever! Thanksgiving calls for an act of giving, not merely prayers of gratitude. Prayers are good, but there is a greater principle to be learned here. Give and it shall be given unto you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you (Luke 6:38).
Those who sow generously will reap generously (2 Cor. 9:6). Not a “give so the Lord will give to me” attitude but give as an act of worship and thanksgiving. Give because others have greater needs than myself. Give because of all that the Lord has given me. Give in faith that the LORD, Yahweh, He is my Provider and the Giver of All Good Things.
Like Paul, I want to say that I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am in. I have learned to be in plenty and in want. In wealth and in poverty. In gladness and in despair. In joy and in pain. In strength and in weakness. In success and in failure. In admiration and in humiliation. For I can do all things through Him who gives me strength (see Phil. 4:11-13).
This is the gift of God. True contentment. Thank you, Father, for wanting to teach me this. Please help me to live it out by your grace. To give generously and with a joyful heart. To give thanks in all circumstance, for this is your will for me in Christ Jesus.