These are hard times.
I’m reminded of it every time I have to put gas in my car, or the grocery bill was more than I expected, or the promised check in the mail didn’t come.
Yet on any given day of the week, I hear of families who are experiencing more difficult times than I am. I still have a roof over my head, a car that runs (actually, our family has three of them!), and I’ve never known the pangs of starvation. In addition, Scripture says I have some spiritual blessings that will blow my mind if I really think about them.
I got to thinking about those “spiritual blessings” today and it changed my perspective on these ‘hard times’ I’m living in:
- I have a home. Not only do I have shelter and a place to lay my head at night, but I have an eternal home waiting for me someday. Jesus called it a mansion…apparently a place big enough to blow away any type of dwelling I could afford or acquire here on earth (John 14:20, NKJV).
- I have a family. Not only do I have a husband and daughter, and parents and siblings, all of whom are still living, but I have a spiritual family as well. The church (both local and corporate) is made up of believers that, at times, can be closer than family. What a blessing that, even if you don’t feel you have family around, if you are connected with other believers, you have family.
- I have a husband. In a day and age when divorce claims 1 in 2 marriages, and adultery, abandonment and abuse run rampant, I have much to be grateful for that my husband is still honoring his commitment to be faithful to me in every way. Maybe you are not in a position to say the same. Yet you can. Scripture tells us in Isaiah 54:5: “For your husband is your Maker, the Lord God of hosts.” When you are trusting in His Son, Jesus, for your eternal life, He has committed Himself to never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). He husbands you in a way that no earthly man ever could.
- I have an inheritance. I don’t believe I have any money coming to me when one or both of my parents pass from this earth. But I am told in Ephesians 1 that I have a spiritual inheritance that is mine today. In addition, Psalm 16:6 says “…surely I have a delightful inheritance.” I trust in that inheritance that awaits me in heaven some day. That is a living hope and something that moth or rust can’t destroy, nor can thieves break in and steal (Matthew 6:20).
- I have forgiveness. Ephesians 1:7 tells me I have been forgiven in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. That literally means that I am as forgiven as God is rich! Think about that. The One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10) has unlimited resources that include unlimited forgiveness.
- I have a clean slate. As far as the east is from the west, so far has God removed my sins from me (Psalm 103:12). I love that God is capable of doing what no man or woman on this earth can do. He completely forgets, as well as removes, our sins from us (Isaiah 43:25).
- I have a new identity. I don’t know about you, but I can start to feel a sense of despair when I think of past hurts, regrets, or mistakes. Yet, we are not destined to repeat the sins of our past, nor the cycle of dysfunction we might have seen while growing up. I am not the same person I used to be and neither are you if you are in relationship with Christ Jesus. And if you blew it today, you can be new again tomorrow. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Wow! If that isn’t music to your ears I don’t know what is.
Psalm 89:15 says “How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! O LORD, they walk in the light of Your countenance.”
What is your “joyful sound” this Thanksgiving?
- The sound of your child’s or grandchild’s voice?
- The hum of noisy chatter in your living room as you share a meal together?
- The sounds of life that remind you that you have been created to love God and enjoy Him forever?
Find your joyful sound this Thanksgiving…and make a joyful sound to the One who has blessed you beyond what you will ever have on this earth.
These aren’t hard times we’re living in, after all. These are blessed times we are living in.