When discouragement attempts to sneak in at anytime, Joseph immediately comes to thought. It seemed he had one challenge after another and he continued to grow spiritually. Anyone familiar with this story knows that the same brothers that had plotted to kill him but sold him into slavery instead, later in life they owed their very existence to him. They had to come to him for food. I never read this without going to Romans 8:28 which reads “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Every challenge he faced was necessary for his growth, but he was never separated from God and neither are we. Whenever I feel I am stuck, I simply remind myself that I just cannot see the entire picture yet, but I know it is always good since my life is guided by God and it will soon be revealed to me.
As I greet the day with thanksgiving, briefly I think about memorable times in my life and I find it is not necessarily the large raises I may have received nor the awards or large material gifts. What comes to mind instead, is a beautiful sunrise over the mountains, something good happening to a loved one or standing in as a grandparent at school for a child that didn’t have one here. The feelings I had with human accomplishments or gifts were fleeting but the genuine ones I can call up in my memory bank and recall the actual feeling.
When I remove self as in self-righteousness, self-absorption, self-pity, self-condemnation I can get in touch with my real self; the one God knows and sees. This is when I can relate to verses like Jeremiah 31:3 which states “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.'”
Recently, I was looking at a picture of raging waters and a lighthouse. As I glanced at the waters, the lighthouse became less clear and almost invisible. Then, I focused on the lighthouse and could not see the waters clearly. That is exactly what happens when I think of problems rather than all the good going on in my life. As I express gratitude for blessings, all other just fade away.
Philippians 4:8 reads “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Today, I will do just that!
This morning as I was praying about the rescue of the boys’ soccer team and their assistant coach from the cave in Thailand, I had been reading the Holy Bible and “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy asking for guidance on how to pray. Was immediately led to a citation in Science and Health, which stated “Material belief is slow to acknowledge what the spiritual fact implies. The Truth is the centre of all religion. It commands sure entrance into the realm of Love.” That seemed to be the answer for me as I thought of the dire predictions humanly but soon remembered that God was right there with those children in the cave.
Also, the prayers going out from people all over the world have to be comforting them and those who are seeking an entrance in order to save them. My prayer today surrounds those inside as well as outside those walls. Then, I realized I was praying for the entire universe.
Romans 8:38-39 states “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Recently, I have been asked from two different people where I am getting my information for my blog. The Holy Bible, verses from Hymns and answers to my own prayers are my sources. For me, this blog is written to express feelings and revelations I have received from my own study and prayer work. This is certainly not written to preach or teach but if one person can relate and be helped in any way, it is worth it to me. The pictures are made by my husband.
When we are aware of our thoughts, we can tell when they begin to spiral downward into darkness. This mind is referred to as the “carnal mind” in the Bible and we are warned against it. I heard a lecture some years ago where the lecturer related this to an elevator and said we could get off on any floor and did not need to go to the basement. Loving this analogy I remembered early on in my life, I felt like I needed to “pit” out to turn to God. World thought or carnal mind would tell you that when you reached bottom, there was no way to go but up, but you can stop at any time.
The difference today for me is I recognize negativity early on and immediately turn my thoughts to God. John 16:33 reads “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have perfect peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer, take courage; be confident, certain and undaunted! For I have overcome the world. I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.” This is true today as always!
Recently, someone shared an article with me on the two kinds of gratitude which was most interesting. If we take someone a wrapped gift, does she unwrap the gift and then thank us profusely or does she set the gift down and embrace us before she even unwraps it. This really sparked some thought with me. Always, before Jesus prayed, he first expressed gratitude to God for all He had done! As we express that type of gratitude, isn’t our thought lifted to a spiritual level? Or are we always praying to get something or to get well or whatever?
I Chronicles 29:11 reads, “Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.” Isn’t that a wonderful way to begin all prayer? I think I will do that.