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Living a Life of Gratitude Grows Our Faith

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

Seeking change through gratitude

I believe in being real as much as possible. It's exhausting not to be. So, I am prone to serious anxiety, and it doesn't quite yell faith. If I'm not grieving and regretting the past, I'm all wrapped around the axle about my current issues, or future tripping on the what if's. This is not a life of faith. I put God in a box, not deliberately, but I do. Some mornings I read my Bible and pray to hear His voice and see His greatness, and then surrender myself to Him for the day. If the day goes badly it isn't long before I'm stressing and anxious.

With God's help I am working on this by learning and practicing gratitude. You can't be cynical, fretful, or see God as limited and finite if you are full of gratitude. A heart of gratitude sees that with God, all things are possible, that He has done amazing things in your life, that He loves you and will never forsake you. It's been a fruitful endeavor. My circumstances may not change, but my heart expands with a growing faith. It is life changing.

I am learning to rejoice in my sufferings and trials. It's not that I slap my knee and yell "Yee haw, another trial." The response I'm learning is "Thank You Lord that you are here to walk me through this; thank You God that going through this will be for my greatest good and for Your glory; thank You Lord that even though I don't understand, You can be trusted; thank You Father because Your faithfulness is great and Your compassion never fails. Your love is from everlasting to everlasting."

I am still in the learning phase and always will be this side of heaven. As long as I'm in this tent I will never have a perfect faith, but it can grow and it will help me to see God, myself, others, and circumstances more and more through His lens. I find it actually quite easier to give thanks than to wallow and ruminate.

I wrote a poem recently to reveal my struggle and the answer.

Prayers at Morning Sunrise

How quickly I forget the prayers

of surrender I make to you

at morning’s sunrise,

when the day is fresh

and my hopes are higher,

not yet tried by fire.

I give you my life,

lay it bare on the altar,

and seek from you

my daily bread.

But shortly into the day

fears come to slay.

I turn life’s bumps

into mighty mountains;

make shallow streams

into oceans depths.

How quickly I falter

when plans are altered.

When clouds come near

my memory fails me.

I make you smaller

than you were at dawn.

And I think I heard wrong,

that you are so strong.

When evening comes

I return to Your throne,

worn and woebegone;

I bow down in shame

that I sold you short,

wounded your heart.

You open your arms

instead of turning away;

you whisper in my ear

“Come to me, Beloved,

Listen to my song,

to me you belong.”

My cry is, “Forgive me

for being shallow in faith,

and a fair weather friend.

Help me to trust you

when the way is blind,

and the world is unkind.”

I then take a breath

and open my eyes

to see the great things

He's done for you and me

And then I rejoice

with a grateful voice.

Then He smiles and I know,

He’ll always be there waiting

with whispers of hope,

of steadfast love,

merciful and wise,

From sunrise to sunrise.

© 2016 Lori Colbo. All rights reserved.

Lush  Israel- the Promise land.

Lush Israel- the Promise land.

Ready for the promised land

The children of Israel were the biggest bunch of whiners and complainers imaginable. We condemn them because we have the benefit of seeing the whole picture of their situation. But many of us, if we're honest, can complain and be just as faithless as they were. I turned sixty this year, so I've been in the wilderness twenty years more than the Israelites. I have had seasons of great faith and fruitfulness, but I've always been a worrier and I can complain with great skill. But I'm so done with it. I'm ready for the promised land where there is milk and honey. All I have to do is give thanks and trust God. It's simple, but not always easy.

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:28-29).

Whom have I in heaven but you?

I desire you more than anything on earth.

My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,

but God remains the strength of my heart;

he is mine forever (Psalm 73:25-26).

© 2017 Lori Colbo

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