Is unhappiness a frequent visitor? Unhappiness that comes from our practice of focusing on what’s lacking and what we think is wrong with our lives? Have our hearts been trained to pursue perfection (that is, of the world) rather than holiness? Eyes that see more of the world’s standard of beauty and success rather than the underglorified beauty of Christlike simplicity?
Maybe the scope of our gratitude has been growing narrower because discontentment has acquired broader territory, and we have missed many an opportunity to thank and praise God for the things that we believe are sparse and not worthy of our gratitude? Or maybe we have been living with more of “if only’s” rather than “even though’s”?
But what if we focus our eyes and hearts to Christ-beauty rather than to world-beauty? But Christ-beauty is entirely different from the world’s. They are exactly opposite and worlds apart, like two parallel lines that will never meet. For the beauty that is Christ’s —
are feet that walk the narrow and dusty roads bringing the Gospel of salvation to the poor, the sick, the outcast.
is a love that loves even the unlovable and the ones who count themselves enemies.
sacrifices willingly and serves joyfully.
If we train our eyes, minds, and hearts to focus on Christ-beauty, our gratitude will widen to even as far as uncharted territory. We will be thanking God deeply not only for the beauty and the goodness He brings to our lives but also for those things we wished to be better or to be changed or to do away with (but God put them there to prove us and teach us precious lessons). But what advantages us if our gratitude grows and expands?
True gratitude liberates the heart from discontent and ushers in pure joy. Joy that is unbreakable and remains. Gratitude honors God and a God-honoring life will be blessed.
Linked to A Holy Experience, Brag on God Friday, Encourage My Heart, Spiritual Sundays, State of the Heart, Teach Me Tuesday, Teaching What is Good, Titus 2sdays, Women in the Word Wednesday, Women Living Well, Proverbs 31 Thursdays