“And when he (King Jehoshaphat) had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.” II Chronicles 20:21
I think of the many times in my life when events have brought me great joy, from my eighth grade graduation to the birth of my children and the wedding of my daughter. I look back on those events with great joy and thanksgiving to the God who blessed me.
I think of these events and realize they pale in comparison to the spiritual events in my life. These events started when I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and they lead up to where God has taken me now. I think of the spiritual mile markers in my life, and I can’t help but smile with joy as to what God has done. The perceived pleasure I received from sinful moments do not even mildly compare to the joy God gives when I live for Him.
I met with a friend whom I had not seen in quite some time, and I told him that I was not the same person I was ten years ago. I talked about how God had worked in my life, and I spoke of how much the Freedom That Lasts (FTL) program has helped. I spoke of the Bible verses I had memorized in my FTL workbook and the definitions and stories presented in the curriculum. I talked about the accountability groups and the prayer support given by the brothers and sisters in the ministry. I didn’t really notice it at first, but I began to see how God was changing my heart, and my reactions to things were no longer coming from me, but they were coming from Him through me.
I often find things to complain about, but it seems I don’t always find ways to be thankful. I think of the basic things I can be thankful for, but I am most thankful to God for what He has done in my life. I am thankful for the new creature that I am in Christ, and I am grateful for the truth that makes me free. II Corinthians 5:17 states, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” God is worthy of my praise for all of eternity for His saving of my soul and His continued sanctifying work in my life.
Do you praise God for your salvation and what He is doing in your life, or do you find yourself complaining? Are you thankful that His mercies endure forever? Lamentation 3:22-23 states, “It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” We should praise Him for the beauty of His holiness, and we should strive to be holy like Him. Will you be thankful for the work He has begun in you? May we not forget who we were without Christ, and may we ever be thankful for the great things He has done.
Stay in the fight!