Thursday, August 28, 2014

Lessons from the Battlefield, part 11: the Grateful Heart

2 Chronicles 30: 22-23

Hezekiah and his people celebrated the Passover for seven days.  Scripture tells us they were “sacrificing peace offerings and giving thanks to the Lord.”  It doesn’t sound all that remarkable until you try to spend a week giving thanks.  It’s sometimes difficult for us to spend ten minutes thanking God for all the gifts He has given us without letting our “requests” creep into our prayers, but Judah didn’t stop at ten minutes.  They had endured years of a dreadful ruler during which all worship in the temple was banned.  They had finally been set free from his tyranny and they were truly grateful.  Having lived the consequences of their sin, they rejoiced at yet another second chance.  For a full week, they gave back to God and said thank you.  

What’s really remarkable about this story is that there was such joy in celebrating the Passover that the entire nation of Judah decided to celebrate the Passover for another week – sacrificing and giving thanks.  Two weeks of celebration may sound like just a great big party, but it is harder than you think.  Today, try to spend the rest of the day thanking God for all He has done for you.  Tomorrow, try to spend the entire day giving thanks to God. Try to spend just one day using all your prayer time to give thanks.  Don’t ask for anything.  Simply spend time loving, thanking, and praising our Mighty God.  Our society is so focused on pursuing whatever our heart desires that it may be harder than you think.


Here are a few suggestions to get you started:.

- Thank Him for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, victory over the tomb, and the intercession He ever makes at the right hand of the Father.
- Thank Him for the breath of life, the blood circulating through your body, and all the body parts that work so well. (Nothing about those parts that don't work so well)
Thank Him for His presence today and His promises for tomorrow. 

Keep going. You might be surprised to find how richly you've been blessed!