An attitude of gratitude is a decision we must make every morning when we get out of bed – even when we don’t feel like it. Remember that each new day is a gift from God. The fact that we woke up at all is a blessing from God.
Even though you may have money troubles, physical ailments, rebellious children or other complaints, choose to give thanks to God in all circumstances. Don’t just thank Him for when things are going good in your life, but also for the things that are going wrong. Even our chastisements and corrections are a demonstrations of God’s love, and His design for our benefit. If we truly are trusting Jesus Christ as the Lord of our lives, then we should be confident that He is working ALL things out for our good (Romans 8:28).
Be careful not to quench the Holy Spirit by indulging in self-pity, resentment or bitterness. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus. As you do, He will reward you with His peace, joy, nearness and comfort. A truly victorious life in Christ is a life of constant joy.
Think of five things you are grateful for and concentrate on those today. Praise God for them and submit to His divine wisdom in allowing them into your life.
Heavenly Father, I praise You and thank You for everything in my life today – not only for the good, but also for any adversity I may be experiencing. I choose to have an attitude of gratitude, for I know you are working all things out for my good. I thank You especially for my salvation in Christ Jesus; for forgiving me of my sins and redeeming me with His precious blood. Amen.
– Pastor Luis Yosefus
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you.” – 1 Peter 4:12
Are you suffering for the sake of Christ? Do people put you down, invent lies about you, mock you, or simply avoid you because you’re a Christian? Does it hurt you to be treated in this manner unjustly? Remember that our Lord Jesus was treated the same way. He said, “They hate me without a cause” (John 15:25).
Instead of getting discouraged or feeling wounded about it, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing this, that the trying of your faith produces patience (James 1:2-3). Those who live godly in Christ will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 2:12).
Persecution is the lot of every devoted believer.
Jesus said that our reward will be great: “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you, when men revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. “ – Matthew 5:10-12
Do not think it strange when you are being persecuted without a legitimate cause. Those who uphold God’s standard of truth, justice and purity and refuse to compromise with this present evil world will undergo persecution in one form or another.
The first reason is that you are a threat to Satan and his demonic kingdom of darkness. Your Christian witness is a light that exposes his evil purposes and convicts those the devil controls.
Secondly, God permits persecution to make you stronger and further develop your faith and character. Persecution is also evidence that you have a strong anointing and presence upon your life. It is a high and holy calling to be chosen of God. The devil knows this and will fight you every which way he can in order to keep you from fulfilling your destiny in Christ.
“If you are reproached for the name of Christ, happy are you, for the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you…” – 1 Peter 4:14.
Be certain, warns the apostle Peter, that you are not suffering because of your own wrongdoing or as a gossip or a busybody or a thief or an evil doer and call it “religious persecution” (1 Peter 4:15). But if any man suffers because of his good Christian witness, let him rejoice and not be discouraged; let him glorify God that has counted you worthy of being a partaker in Christ’s sufferings.
Although trials and persecutions may be emotionally and even physically painful for the moment, remember to take comfort that we are suffering because of our loyalty and faithfulness to our Lord and Savior. It is a sign of the genuineness of our devotion and the great reward that awaits us when Christ returns.
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you…The servant is not greater than his Lord. If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you…” – John 15:19-20.
True followers of Christ will suffer persecution from those who belong to Satan’s world because we are fundamentally different than they are, and at spiritual odds with the world. Jesus admonishes us to rejoice that we are “not of the world” and have “come out of the world.”
- Pastor Luis Yosefus