GregoryCooper's Blog

thoughts from a Christ follower

Holding on to hope and finding a way to be thankful in spite of life’s difficulties

This year was a difficult thanksgiving…my heart was filled with emotion as I looked around me.  Overall I had a sense of thanksgiving, even though it was difficult to be thankful for some of the circumstances that I found overwhelming.  I hope that as you read these thought that you will find strength, hope, and the freedom of thankfulness.  

Here are a few of those tough things for me

  1. Watching my kids cry as they watched their pa pa, my dad, struggle with Dementia / Alzheimer’s.  He know all of us but doesn’t know much else.  Hard to hear him ask that I take him home but not understand why I could not.  
  2. Thinking of all of the friends who have lost loved ones, people that I also loved.  Knowing the emptiness and the longing of their hearts as they missed their child or spouse. 
  3. Thinking of another year of ministry…missing friends who have walked away from the church I love, watching families and individuals fall apart in sin instead of turning to the Savior.  Wishing I could do more to lead others into God’s presence.  
  4. Watching people struggle with mental illness, depression, and various health problems …I have prayed for them to get better but for some reason God has not brought healing.   

Let’s face it, you probably have a list of “hard things” too.  While all of these things are incredibly heart wrenching and difficult, we can still find a way to be thankful in spite of circumstances.   How?  

1. By trusting in God’s character – He is good, loves us more than we can understand, is able and is still in control, and is actively working to work together all things for our good and His glory.  Psalm 100, Proverbs 3:5,6, Romans 8:25-39

2.  By carrying everything to Him in prayer and remembering that he has promised to always be there.  Philippians 4:6,7,13,19; Matthew 28:17-20; Hebrews 13:5,6

3. By leaning into the people, both family and friends, that God has placed in our lives to love, encourage, inspire, lead/ teach, and strengthen us.  We have shared tears and laughter, favorite biblical promises and heartfelt prayers, and the things that God has blessed us with (time, talents, and treasures).  Hebrews 10:19-25, Galatians 6:1-10

4.  By remembering that we are not home yet.   We are just passing through…God is preparing us for what He is preparing for us.  Eternity awaits!!!   John 14:1-6, Ephesians 2:19, Philippians 2:12,13

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”  Psalm‬ ‭107:1‬ ‭

Thank you Father God, for who you are: a loving God and a good, good father.  Let us always remember that we are never alone, that you are with us and at work on our behalf.   Thank you that your grace is sufficient and that your strength is perfect in our weakness.  Thank you that you are able and willing to finish the work that you have started in us.  Thank you for giving us the strength and the hope to carry on and for carrying us when we cannot carry ourselves.   

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November 27, 2016 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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