On March 8, 1713, Matthew Henry experienced an unfortunate incident that offered proof that he was a preacher who could not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk.
Henry had preached a sermon in a London church that focused on the joyful sound, and based on the words of Psalm 89:16: They rejoice in Your name all day long, and they are exalted by Your righteousness.
Shortly after he left the church, Henry was robbed by a couple of thieves. As Henry reflected on this incident in a prayer, he said:
Lord, I thank Thee first because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse they did not take my life; third, because although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth because it was I who was robbed, and not I who robbed.
Henry’s prayer is an expression of gratitude. He chose to focus less on what he had lost and the danger he had faced and more on what he still had, what he had never been, and that he remained safe and secure in Christ.
Instead of allowing bitterness to take root in his life, Henry chose to cultivate a spirit of forgiveness and nurture an attitude of gratitude. Can the same be said of you? Which of these three is indicative of your attitude today–bitterness, forgiveness, or gratitude?
To help you stay focused on this discussion I’ll end with the words of Zig Ziglar: Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.
If you started today worrying about what might go wrong, I encourage you to stop and refocus your mind on these five words:.
Slow: Take a deep breath and slow down. When you walk in step with God, you will learn that His love is not measured by a teaspoon—it’s measured by the bucket loads.
Time: Take a minute or two to consider God’s goodness.
- Psalm 34:8: Taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oppose: Don’t yield to catastrophic thoughts that are characterized by words like must, never, and always. These three words are usually false. Discipline your mind so you think about the hope and joy you can have in Jesus.
- Romans 15:13: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Promise: Claim the promises the are rightly yours. You are not some pauper, you are a child of the King.
- The key that gives you access to God is not your strength—it’s God’s grace.
I’ll close with some words that can open the door of your mind to some life-changing thoughts:
Deuteronomy 31:6: Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
There are those times that a person can become so self-absorb, that he acts as though he is the center of the universe. Then again, there are those cloudless nights when you seem insignificant in comparison to the starlit sky and a brightly shining super moon.
There are a few times each year when the proximity of the moon is so close to the earth, that every star and constellation is dim in comparison to its shimmering beauty.
According to Andrew Fazekas, January1, 2018 might be such a night. Tonight, the distance between the earth and moon will be only 221,559 miles, and Fazekas has said this is why the moon will appear to be so large.
To keep things in perspective, 221,559 miles is well beyond the lifetime of most vehicles. It is also the distance between Wichita, Kansas and the North Pole; that’s 30 roundtrips excursions to the North Pole and back.
When I witness the beauty of the night sky or I’m mesmerized by a glorious sun that signals the dawn of a new day, I’m reminded of David’s exclamation in the Psalms: The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork (19:1).
I encourage you to step outside tonight and to take a peek at the “handiwork” of god that He has painted on His celestial canvas; then, step back inside and read from Psalm 8. As you read from this Psalm, you may realize that you’re the most beautiful part of God’s magnificent creation. And, from God’s perspective you’re more super than the moon.