I was watching a program on one of the Christian channels last night, the preacher on the stage was speaking to a congregation that would have filled Wembley and then some! He was talking about “seeing your vision and expecting it to come to fruition“! Now, I can understand, that if you believe that God has told you “you will become a parent” like he said to Abraham and Sarah, having something to remind of that promise every day is a good thing! But one of the examples he gave, was that of a businessman who felt God promise he would own a plane one day! I watched another program on that channel where four christians were sitting on a sofa, discussing “being rich or poor” When asked the question “would you prefer to be rich or poor?“, All four responded instantly “rich!!” This surprised me, despite the following statement from Jesus’s own lips
These “followers of Christ” were wanting be rich!? If you put a group of millionaires in one room and a group of “poor” Christians in another, surveyed each group about their lives, whether they were happy, how strong their faith was, etc. I believe that it wouldn’t be the Millionaires, who would come out as being the happiest! People with possessions want more possessions and will try to get them by their own wealth even if that means putting it on a credit card! People without a lot, trust God for what they cannot possibly get for themselves!
Anyone who has been to an African country and spent time living in a “mud hut” or with people in a rural area, who have virtually nothing in comparison to those of us in the western world, will have noticed how happy they appear to be! The people that I have stayed with are, without doubt, the most hospitable people that I have ever met! If someone comes to visit one family in the village, their neighbours will come over with food to help bear the load of feeding the guest! So as you sit, having a cup of tea with your host, their neighbours will be popping round with vegetables, a chicken, (or if you are really lucky) a live goat!!
I believe that one of the things we have lost in the modern world, is the sense of gratitude, I know I blogged a little while ago about not taking things for granted, three quotes come to mind
- People apparently live in one of two “tents” either ConTENT or disconTENT!
- The “grass may be greener on the other side” but you don’t know how much work has gone into making it constantly look that way!
- “Tesco ergo sum” is Latin for “I shop, therefore I am“
“Giving thanks for a meal“, or “saying grace” occurs in a lot of homes especially at Thanksgiving in American homes! But how sincere are these prayers, or the prayers that we say with our children at bedtime? It is easy to fall into a routine of saying “Thank you Lord for our food, our friends and family……” and perhaps losing the heartfelt thankfulness of it all! I vividly remember one Sunday, the church I was in at the time, was having communion and I was “daydreaming” as the cup came round, as soon as the pastor was given the cup back (as it had gone round all of the congregation) he said “I believe that we should take it again as we sometimes don’t take enough time to consider what it is symbolising” I suddenly realised, that I had drunk the communion wine and not thought about the sacrifice of Jesus or thanked him for what he has done for me!
I truly believe that if we are constantly looking for the “hand of God” in our lives and the world around us, if we are constantly thanking God, then we will happier, we will have trials, we will have bad days, but even when we do we should say:-
- Thank you Lord for what I have!
- Thank you Lord for your promises!
- Thank You Lord for your sacrifice!
- Thank You Lord for those around me!
- Thank You Lord for creating me!
- Thank You Lord for the trials I face, for I know that you are with me in them!
- Thank You Lord for the Holy Spirit, who is with me, guides me and helps me!
When we are constantly looking for God, we will find him, we will have experiences that we can tell others about and because they are our experiences we can be confident in sharing them!