Thanksgiving

Gratitude translates into Praise.
Most recently for me, conviction in this area – of living a grateful life, has come in a uprooting of all of my dissatisfaction, and pride. I’ve been working through learning how to be presently thankful, and living from a place of humility, and grace. It’s really been shifting my perception and my heart. I realized that I have been living on circumstantial highs and superficial praises, instead of the real resurrection power of redemption. Here’s the difference, I’ve learned: His redemption and abundance for us, is not a momentary feeling or high based on the situations around us. It is our rock, It’s our everlasting Hope in Him, in what He’s done, and what’s still to come. But our flesh works and lives off the immediate outcome, the highs, and the praise, all which wither within moments.

So sisters, yes, I’ve been knee-deep in this. I have been sifting through what it looks like to be grateful in this season, and despite the fog of my pride, – He’s faithful, bringing me near to Him, teaching me – no – showing me, what a grateful and a humble heart looks like. And all I keep hearing is – He didn’t have to, but He did.

Was I worth His love and grace? Was I enough? Was my sin too deep?

Maybe you’ve felt this way, too. That living in praise and gratitude, isn’t an option, because we don’t even think that all of what He promised us, is actually for us.

Just a few days ago, I was in my car on the way back from dropping my girl off at school, and began to weep. I wept, because I was reminded, of all the “could have beens” and “should have beens.” I was overwhelmed with how, from day one – He chose me, and you and then said “ I love you”. I was overcome, with the weight of it all, and saw the deep love he had for all of us, His children. I saw the way His plan from the very beginning was redemption and reconciliation. How He looked for another way for us, and came through.

And there it was. There was the place in which gratitude flows from, from really understanding the deep love of it all, and living in a way that is responsive to it.
We are gifted a new life, and we are blessed in redemptions plans. But, unfortunately, as humans we often miss it. Instead, we look for the fleshly things that temporarily fill the holes and gaps of the true redeemer.

Where is the freedom, in always looking for the “next’ thing, or that thing to be fixed and healed before we are grateful?

True freedom and peace come from having the realization that He is already doing a work and it is enough. His laboring for our souls never quits, and whether we see it on this side of heaven or not, does not change that truth. We live lives of gratitude, because of Jesus. Because of what He means, for the past, present, and future.

An authentic attitude of thanksgiving in all circumstances. No matter what.
In the Old Testament  gratitude translates into praise, and in the new testament it is translated into “Eucharisto” which means thankfulness, and, Grace. From the beginning of time, we see Adam and Eve, Cain and Able, and ona dn on, all living lives thank-less and full of ingratitude for Gods blessings. They looked at what they had and lived in the tension and pull of “what’s next, and give me more”. I don’t know, but I think that maybe the sin of pride and idolatry followed them – generation to generation, penetrating hearts, covering our eyes, and causing us to see the things we had as mere scraps, instead of God-given gifts. We are discontent for the things we have (or don’t) , because we view them as rights, things we are entitled to. We demand gifts, but we don’t really see the giver.

To appreciate the present, and the future and hope for what it is, we must have the courage to look at the past. The past for Adam & Eve, is their sin, the sin of disobedience and pride. And God didn’t have to save them, but He did. He didn’t have to give them grace, but He did. He didn’t have to keep us, pursue us, come after us, but He did.
It changes it all, doesn’t it? It should. It’s really and truly all a gift, sister. We were made to worship, to give thanks, to praise Him in every circumstance.
Today, I’m grateful, that in His strength, my 28th year of life looks like hope and resilience – not because of the things to come, but because of what he has already done. For me, the moments, where I thought I was alone and felt hopeless, have now become moments where I see how God met me – even when I didn’t know it, in His miraculous way.

We are blessed to have our future hope – our present hope in Him. But also, our past. Because our past, the things that brought us to today – good and bad – were tools and vessels. They were these moments in time that drew us nearer to Him, even in the seasons we thought we were unreachable. He was there, and He’s always been there.

We were ransomed.

So, we seek to live lives full of praise, we cultivate hearts of gratitude for what is. We pray, for the courage to look at our past, to learn and grow from it – so that we can move on to the new things in Him. We say “Thank you Father, for the right now, because you are in the midst of it all, walking through it with us.” Sisters, if he is our hope, we no longer look at our circumstances as a factor into our Gratitude, instead we go from a countdown mentality, to a right now praise break.

This, is my 28. Present, hopeful,expectant.
Let’s be Grateful for the right now, let’s pray, and ask Him to help us live life as worship and praise, overflowing from the well of grace and gratitude. Thankful for the present and the past.

 

Grateful, 

Alex Hoover

@hooverandgrace

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