Wednesday, November 13, 2019

A Broken, But Thankful Heart

Psalm 138

I give you thanks, O Lord, with all my heart;
    I will sing your praises before the gods.

I bow before your holy Temple as I worship.

    I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness;
for your promises are backed
    by all the honor of your name.

As soon as I pray, you answer me;

    you encourage me by giving me strength.

Every king in all the earth will thank you, Lord,

    for all of them will hear your words.

Yes, they will sing about the Lord’s ways,

    for the glory of the Lord is very great.

Though the Lord is great, he cares for the humble,

    but he keeps his distance from the proud.

Though I am surrounded by troubles,

    you will protect me from the anger of my enemies.
You reach out your hand,
    and the power of your right hand saves me.

The Lord will work out his plans for my life—

    for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.
    Don’t abandon me, for you made me.

           Today's blog is a combination blog on thankfulness, brokenness, and surrender.  Now that it's November, we will soon celebrate Thanksgiving.  As Psalm 138 states, we should be thankful with all of our heart and all of the time.  Thankfulness isn't limited to the good, fun times of our journey but also, to the hard times that broke us of ourselves.  "Brokenness is a lifestyle of agreeing with God about the true condition of our heart and life, as He sees it. It is a lifestyle of unconditional, absolute surrender of our will to the will of God—a heart attitude that says, “Yes, Lord!” to whatever God says."

         "There is something about reaching a breaking point that causes us to seek the Lord more sincerely.  There are some things in our lives that need to be broken: pride, self-will, stubbornness, and sinful habits, for example.  To us, broken things are despised as worthless, but God can take what has been broken and remake it into something better, something that He can use for His glory. Broken things and broken people are the result of sin. Yet God sent his Son, who was without sin, to be broken so that we might be healed.  Sometimes we must be broken before we realize our need. And our deepest need is to be reconciled to God. Only then can we be made whole.  The solution can never come from our own efforts or striving, but comes only from Him. Only when we recognize our need for God are we able to take our eyes off ourselves and focus them on God and Jesus Christ.  Only when we confess that we are broken can God make us into what He wants us to be. Once we let go of self and place God at the center of our lives, everything else falls into place."  []

          "Too often people drowning in the world’s fast-moving current refuse to grab onto the spiritual life preserver: Jesus Christ. He died on the cross for all of humanity, but individuals have a responsibility in salvation. A person must recognize his or her own helplessness and acknowledge the need for Christ. That means the new Christian accepts Jesus’ sacrifice as true and personal, believing that there is no other way to be rescued. It isn’t necessary to understand everything about faith and the Bible in order to be saved—God will ensure that His children learn whatever they need from the Holy Spirit. However, it is critical to realize that we cannot save ourselves."  []

          Psalm 138 should help remind us to personally look back with thankfulness to our own experiences we have had of God's goodness in our lives.  It should comfort us with the reminders of his unfailing love, faithfulness, and promises.  It should encourage our boldness, with our praises and thankfulness, before the world.

        "God opposes the proud, who think, I can do this myself (James 4:6). He pours out His strength to the ones who know that they cannot accomplish the goal but believe that He can do so through them. The Lord wants us to trust Him. He may at times ask us to remain in an uncomfortable situation or take on a task that seems far beyond our capability. In either circumstance, relying on Him will bring us the inner fortitude to choose His way."

        As for myself, God has used my health, my desires, and the people in my life to break me.  I praise him for those life-giving moments.  They taught me that I can't do this alone and I need God every hour.  I am not enough, but He is.  May we always let the breaking times of life, make us better not bitter.

        "Lord,  Remind me today of your sacrifice; keep it close to my heart. Make me not only thankful for but a vessel of your grace. Don’t let your grace stop with me, but show it to others through me. Be with all those who do not believe in you and have hard hearts. Let them know the promise of your good news. Thank you for the depth of your love. You sent your Son to die a sinner’s death so that I could be redeemed. Thank you that you want to have a relationship with me through Jesus Christ."  [God Is With You Everyday, M. Lucado]

Daily meditation on God’s Word is the key to courageously accomplishing all that He sets before us. It includes five essential elements.  [C. Stanley]
  • Reading. We must first know what God has said in His holy Word.
  • Believing. Then we should believe His Word and His promises.
  • Absorbing. Next, we absorb Scripture into our thinking so we understand it, and it governs our thoughts.
  • Applying. God’s Word applied directs our way of living.
  • Obeying. Knowing what God has said, we respond with complete and full obedience. This is the goal of meditation.