By Major Kim Williams
Administrator for Program
Phoenix, AZ Adult Rehabilitation Center
Read Daniel 3:1-30 NIV
Question: How did Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego show their faith and belief in the God they served?
How many times have you heard, “Have an attitude of gratitude?” Is that before or after morning coffee? Is it even possible to have gratitude in all situations? I have a friend that is now with the Lord, and she would give praise to God for the “Good, Bad, and Indifferent.”
It is so easy to praise the Lord when all is going your way. The coffee is perfect, the bills are paid, little Johnny got all A’s on his report card, and you just lost another 10 pounds on your diet. I don’t know whose life this might be, but it sure isn’t mine.
Mine is more like I set the coffee pot before going to bed but forgot to turn it on, little Johnny has detention and I gained 10 lbs. on the diet.
We can find it in our relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit to have a heart of gratitude when the good seasons seem to be in the distance and the bad is like a dreary cloud hanging over us for a season.
You get bad news from the doctor, children are having difficulties, grandkids are being too exposed to worldly decay, the car breaks down, or you’re having personal relationship problems.
Is this the time we reflect and give thanks in all circumstances? Are we rejoicing always? What is our prayer life like at this time? (see 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) Here is the thing – life is going to happen, the good, the bad, and the indifferent!
The Good News
No, the great news is that we have this amazing gift as followers of Christ, that in spite of the chaos, hurts, and thunderstorms of life, we can still be filled with gratitude and joy because of the abundant love God has for each one of us.
It is His mercy that God shows our broken selves and the grace that He pours into us is reason enough to dig deep in those valleys of life and be able to live with a heart of gratitude. When we take time to be mindful and see the amazing works of God, we can be prompted by the Holy Spirit to overflow with gratitude, joy, grace, and mercy.
Question: What can you do to begin the daily process of recognizing the goodness of God so you can life with a grateful heart during the good, the bad, and the indifferent?
Start a Gratitude Journal. Here are some ideas of what you can include:
- Write your prayers of thanksgiving.
- Contemplate the chorus, “Count your blessings, name them one by one and you will see what the Lord has done.”
- Look up scripture about rejoicing, gratitude, mercy, joy, etc.
- Read Galatians 5:22-23. What fruit of the Spirit is evident in your life? What fruit of the Spirit do you need more of right now?
Learning to live with sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s leading and embracing a life of gratitude in the good, the bad and the indifferent is not looking at the world through rose-colored glasses. This is a gift and treasure from God that comes through His Son, Jesus, when we seek to follow Him and His word found in the Scripture.
We may not receive all the answers we want, the way we want them answered, but we can still be filled with a grateful heart through anything, if we have the same attitude as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had along with the confidence they had in God Almighty.
And Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[a] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
Question: Are we so firm in our relationship with Christ, that when the indifferent comes, we are able to enter the blazing furnace with gratitude, joy and confidence in who we are in Him?
We can have that attitude of gratitude because of our relationship with Christ.
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