Ready for some real-time authenticity and confession?
This has been a week of negative thoughts. Feelings of inadequacy, loneliness, and envy roll around in my mind. I stew on them, work up a little anger – or self-pity, depending on the moment. I know that I need to “take those thoughts captive.” I can even quote a Bible verse for each sin that’s tempting me to walk its way.
Have you ever had an hour – or maybe a day – like that? Our focus narrows to ourselves and we wallow in the pit of unhappiness.
There’s no better time to count our blessings.
I’ll admit, that’s not been my first response. But I see some encouragement in Deuteronomy 26. Here we find Moses instructing the children of Israel regarding giving a tithe back to God when they begin to prosper in the Promised Land. In verse 11, he describes the delights which await them.
“And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house….”
That Scripture teaches me several valuable lessons.
1. Recognize every good thing.
In other words, count our blessings. I’m still writing in my 1000 gifts journal – I’m up to over 8,500 of them! And some mornings I can list five or six gifts/blessings from the previous day without hardly thinking about it. Other days, I struggle to come up with two. It’s not that God is “better” to me one day than He is the next. It’s that some days (too often!) I don’t recognize the good things.
2. Realize from whom every good thing comes.
It is God who gives me each one of them. There’s no fate involved, no luck that brings them, nor, though I love the word, any such thing as serendipity. Remember James 1:17?
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
God is always good, and any good thing we receive comes from Him.
3. Rest in His provision.
God always provides. Philippians 4:19 says, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” So while I’m noticing the good things that God’s given in the past, I can trust that He’ll continue to bestow good things in the future.
And while we’re resting, let’s enjoy the good things. Yes, one day we might have more, but let’s be content with what He’s supplied today. As we live in contentment, we can also take great pleasure in the good things we have now.
4. Rejoice in every good thing.
Rejoice means to feel or show great delight. I know that I haven’t been doing much of that this week. I lost my joy.
Joy in my spirit, reflected on my face, is a way of witnessing to others – including my children – that my God is good. He has given me so much, beyond just meeting my needs. Like we enjoy blessing our children, I believe God likes to provide pleasures just for our enjoyment.
As I think about Moses’ command, I remember a part of the story that was still ahead of them. What else was going to happen in the Promised Land? There were going to be battles.
The Canaanites weren’t just going to lay down their weapons and surrender their land. Yet in the middle of working hard to gain victory, the Israelites were going to be surrounded by so many good things! In the same way, as I battle my thought life this week, God continues to surround me with blessings in abundance. How thankful I am for His faithfulness!
For what “good thing” are you rejoicing today?