Monday, October 22, 2018

A Grateful Heart Stirs Up A Fervent Faith


What stirs a heart to give thanks to God, and why is it so profoundly important to do so?

I read a quote this morning in my daily devotional book, The Way of ABUNDANCE by Ann Voskamp, which said,

"...if our thanksgiving is fickle, then it turns out that our faith is fickle."

Whoa... jump back Jack! I do not want to be labeled as one having fickle faith. Do you?

Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him (Hebrews 11:6 NIV).

Watching our world in a tail spin from recent events of catastrophic weather, political pressure, and a culture bombarded with all sorts of addictions, it would appear there isn't room for a grateful heart. But that's not true. To experience the abundant life Christ offers, we must be thankful in all things.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus (I Thes. 5:18 NIV).

A grateful heart is not about giving thanks only when things are going the way we think they should go. A grateful heart offers up thanks even in the midst of the worst of circumstances. Faith was designed, and given to us to sync perfectly into our lives, whether we're feeling overjoyed or overwhelmed. Therefore, we are to overwhelm God, the Creator of all things, with our heartfelt words of thanksgiving and praise, no matter what.

fickle faith has a frustrating effect on our spiritual life. An on-again-off-again faith cultivates a life of chaos, not peace.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take ( Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT).

An uncommitted faith flows from an uncommitted heart. Our faith stifles when we refuse to give thanks to the Author and Finisher of our faith. 

This past weekend could have been discouraging to some who attended the Living Real Magazine/ Lighthouse for Life event. Not because the conference didn't meet their expectations, but because the numbers of those in attendance were low. I'll be the first to admit I was a bit discouraged. But throughout the day prior to and the day of, as volunteers showed up in full force to work and prepare for the conference, my faith was stirred up. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that our obedience is not about what the world deems successful, but it's all about what the Lord deems as having eternal value.

I'm grateful for servant hearts. The volunteers were engaged, excited, and enthusiastic. Each person stepped in to work wherever they were needed. Some even worked both the prep day and the day of the event. And they all did it with smiles on their faces!

I'm grateful for those who did attend. Everyone spoke of how encouraged they were by the messages they heard, and how the faith of others spurred them on to living out their faith.

I'm grateful the day was a loud testament to God's faithfulness, especially when we say, "Yes," to His call on our lives. My heart was "Re-JOY-venated"  as Steven James so brilliantly taught about.

A fervent faith stems from a frequent offering of thanksgiving. 

As we enter this "season" of thanksgiving, why not invigorate your faith by jotting down three things you're grateful for every day between now and Thanksgiving Day. Why not use the calendar season to help you develop a perpetual season of thankfulness. Your faith will never be the same! Trust me.

Stir my faith, Lord, 'til my soul begins to sing.
Stir my faith, Lord, to rise above the lesser things.
Pour into me Your Word, the sweetest ever heard;
Let the passion stirred within me offer the praise that You deserve.

Stir my heart, Lord, with the joy of my salvation 
Stir my heart, Lord, until it beats with adoration
Wrap me in Your comfort, even when the days are hard
May my ever-growing trust in You give me strength to guard my heart. 
                                                                                                          Melanie Shull, October 22, 2018

My Pleasure,
Melanie


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