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The Thankful Heart

"Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ," Ephesians 5:19-20

The apostle Paul wrote this from a Roman prison. Seeing the end in sight, he wrote a letter of hope to the Ephesian followers in his last moments. Oppressed, beaten, stoned, insulted, flogged, ship-wrecked, and now hunched over in pain he takes a deep breath and again "makes a melody in his heart to the Lord." Men who live for a greater purpose, vision, and mission always see present challenges differently. And if anyone had the right to live embittered, selfish, and dissatisfied it was Paul who endured hardships you would never know. But he decides to focus not on his current afflictions but instead his future reality. The reality that God holds the past, present, and future in his hands which gives him reason to "give thanks always."

DO THIS: Trust in God's sovereign will and be thankful.

PRAYER: God, while I don't always like the hand I've been dealt, I can see that all things are an opportunity to trust in you. Sometimes I do suffer underneath the strain of another's sin and selfishness, but instead of complaining today I'm going to chose to be thankful. I am trusting that this is an opportunity for you to show me your divine provision. Therefore, God give me a thankful heart.

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