We had a guest pastor at our church a month or two ago, and one thing he said that has really stuck with me is that here in America, on our worst day, we are blessed beyond measure. So much of the world has so little.
Not even looking just at the blessings of being an American but in all areas, I often have to remind myself of just how blessed I am. Sometimes when things get tough, I tend to dwell on dark thoughts, thoughts of defeat. I start worrying about how I'm going to fix my problem, what I can possibly do to turn things around. During these times, I am able to get myself so wound up and so stressed out that I'm impossible to reason with. When this happens, God always gives me these verses:
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:27
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles of its own. Matthew 6:34
I'm going through one of those times right now. The stresses of life are threatening to consume me, but I am filling myself with God's Word and His promises. I am reminding myself that I am blessed beyond measure. I have a wonderful family, a husband who loves me and our boys, who is filled with a love and heart for God, two beautiful boys who are healthy, happy, and strong, family who care, friends who love me despite my many faults, a home to live in, car to drive, and food to eat. I am the child of the Most High God. What do I have to complain about?
I have a Lord who "took up my infirmities and carried my diseases" (Mt 8:17), a Lord that touches and blesses me "according to my faith" (Mt. 10:29), a Lord that sustains me (Psalm 55:22), a "refuge in times of trouble" (Nahum 1:7), a Lord of peace (John 14:27), a Lord who guards my heart and mind (Philippians 4:6-7), a Lord who blesses me (John 13:17), and a Lord who "works for the good of those who love Him" (Romans 8:28). How blessed I am!
During my Beth Moore Bible study yesterday, these words from her brought me revelation:
Just as the gifts of the Spirit represent Christ's ministry, the fruit of the Spirit represents Christ's personality. When we allow the Holy Spirit to flow freely through our purified vessels, His personality takes over and we display love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. How often we wear ourselves out praying for more patience, faith, joy, or peace. All of these are the supernatural response of a Spirit-filled believer! A more appropriate prayer is "Lord purify me and make me a fit vessel for Your presence. Then fill me to overflowing with Your precious Holy Spirit." The fruit will supernaturally and automatically be produced.
What a revelation! Since reading that, I have continually been praying that prayer. My hope and belief is that God will fill me to overflowing with His Spirit, and that will produce the faith that I need to get through my tough times.
This and That
4 days ago