We thank a lot of people during of daily activities. We migth thank the waiter for his prompt service or the maid for her loyality or the driver for his safe driving. Let’s ponder. What is it required for us to pronounce the words ‘thanks’? There are instances when we haven’t pronounced a thankful note.
The difference is that we would not have been satisfied with their work or service. It is the satisfaction that instigates this thanks.
Similarly, when we have to thank our God for His goodness we first need to be contented about His ways. Only when we nurture contentment we will be able to give thanks and praise God for His marvelous ways. A discontented heart can never pronounce true thanksgiving. Contentment is essential for your heart to overflow with thanks.
Contentment is the ability to be happy with what you have and not wanting for more. Contented people say yes for an essential need but will say no for a luxurious want. The Bible in 1 Timothy 6:6 we read contentment with godliness is great gain.
In this era of technology and development which can bring anything and everything to your doorstep, is it really possible to be contented?
Competitive and attractive offers displayed on malls, shopping complexes, malls rip us from our contentment. If think we would have sometime or other entangled in this offer craze. When we have to buy one these offers tempt us to buy two in order to get the third one free.
Contentment is the ability to feel complete with what you have. Peoples measure of completeness varies. For example, take mode of transport wherein a person might be happy if he manages to own a two wheeler while there are others who are not satisfied with a four wheeler too.
Contentment is necessary to appreciate what you have and be happy about it. Contentment is necessary for us to give to others. So, I would suggest a simple test for contentment. If you are happy and willing to give to others then your life is contented. We are called to test our life for contentment. If not change ourselves for greater gain.
A contented life has happiness and is willing to share
Hope is the feeling of trust. Synonyms could be expectation, anticipation, dream, desire or wish. Hope is essential for simple to composite things. Hope could be inherent while some struggle to believe. Hope could be borrowed from people who believe. Hope could be intertwined to promises such as legal bonds. Hope could sometimes be unrealistic or unreal too. All these characteristics of hope fail with time. Inborn hope or borrowed hope can dwindle. Hope on agreements or unrealistic dreams will fail.
When hope matures it clears the test of time. This mature hope doesn’t look for immediate outcomes but believes in God’s plan for him/her. In mature hope, believing in God’s plan is worthwhile regardless of how things turn out to be.
The Book of Romans, solicits each Christian to be joyful in hope. Mature hope is a choice. Mature hope with joy is an effort. Yet they are worth the choice and the effort because joy soothes the sweat of the waiting period. Mature hope on naïve, worldly people is scary but on Christ is never a failure.
Joyful in hope is worth the effort to wait for God’s time.
Decision is a conclusion resolved after detailed consideration of all possible alternatives. In this era of psychological development, decision making is considered an expertise. From childhood we are exposed to situations that help us acquire this skill. We are triggered to decide and choose when an uncle asks you pick one flavor of ice cream.Decisions could be positive or negative. A positive decision is the resolution to hold on to something like praying regularly. A negative decision is the determination to refrain from something such as a bad habit.
Decisions be it negative or positive, they are mutually exclusive.You like it or not, during a decision you weigh a choice over it’s alternatives. Most things in life doesn’t happen the way we decide since God’s decision is ultimate. When God’s decision happens in our lives our decisions fail to happen. Even though accepting God’s decision is not easy but I am sure that it is always the best decision.
“God’s decision at times excludes our decision to establish His eternal decision”
Probability is the chance of an event to occur or not. Science believes in probability. We toss a coin to choose which team bats first. Most board games revolve around probability of a dice. We cast lots to choose a lucky winners.Similar incidents have be mentioned in the Bible. The people in the ship cast lots to identify Noah as the reason behind God’s wrath expressed are a deadly storm. The soldiers cast lots to lay hands on the clothes of Jesus after His crucifixion. Mathias was selected over Barsabbas as the twelfth disciple in place of Judas by lots.
Does probability actually depicts chance? Do things happen by chance in our lives?
Pro 16:33 mentions, “The lots is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord”.
Yeah, probability exists but it is under the control of our Almighty Creator. Most things that we think happen by chance in our life are knitted together by God. Each person you meet and every need that you see have been fixed in place by God. The beggar whom you saw and the colleague who needed your support didn’t happen in your life by chance. God has tied them to your life in order to enrich their life through you.
I am not advocating that casting lots is a way to know God’s decision. But the gist is that, our God knows the probability of a lot or coin or dice or incident before we know it. Our Sovereign God has dominion over all probability and does not allow chance to handle your life. God has planned intricately each one of our lives rather than believing in probability. So as Christians we are called to reflect now and then to find the meaning and the reason why God brings different people such as your neighbor, driver, maid etc into your life. Ask God to help you realize the way you can help them.
Hannah was the beloved wife of Elkannah. Yet God had closed her womb. Her family had gone to Shiloh to offer yearly sacrifices. She took time to pour her heart to God about the grief she was undergoing.(1 Samuel 1:10-11) Most preachings on Hannah’s prayer would encircle around this prayer. There is another prayer which Hannah prayed after she fulfilled her promise with God. (1 Samuel 2:1-10). This prayer of thanksgiving is so different and caught my attention.
This is when she leaves Samuel with Eli in the temple. This is no lesser than today’s good byes on account of studies, work and commitment and so on. Each one of us would have experienced such a situation in life. Have you ever seen a parent especially the mother pronounce a goodbye without tears. I haven’t! Most cases it is a blue occasion. Hannah’s prayer dint reveal her sorrow at all.
Hannah rejoices and boosts in the Lord for He has delivered her from her enemies. She glorifies God her rock for His holiness. She thanks God for the answered supplications. Her prayer depicts how God transforms the situation of people who pray. She also acknowledges the fate of those who oppose God. More or less this was a prayer of praising, thanking, adoring and acknowledging God’s ways in her life.
“Prayer provides perception to acknowledge His ways”
Now, when you have to listen to the seventh song of an album you pick it on your phone’s music player and play it instantly. In that time and age when digital media was not available, playing your favourite song is attainable only with this fast forward button. Those who have used a tape recorder to listen to songs would agree. I was imagining if our life had this fast forward button, how would things turn out to be?
Each time we take a decision, we could fast forward to visualize the aftermath of each decision or even the other options for the same decision. Decisions affects ones eternal life and the present life of people around. A roamer, an offensive word, an unjust decision, an illicit deeds could make life difficult for others. Most misunderstandings in the family, politics in churches, disorderly fellowships sprout out from these above mentioned acts. These could be nipped early when we think of the consequences of them.
The Bible implores us to be devoted to one another and also live at peace with everyone. When each Christian uses this fast forward button before every decision, families will overflow with love, churches would overflow with believers and fellowships would overflow with spiritual gifts.
“Would there be a fast forward button – families, churches and fellowships would overflow in love and peace”
Prayer is talking about your worries to the Lord. When Nehemiah received the message about the wall of Israel, he immediately knelt down, fasted and prayed. During his mission he repeated the same again and again. Whenever there was a problem, a worry or a difficulty he took it to the Lord in prayer. In this techno world, are we alert to do this?
In this world of technology, where do we update our worries? What do you gain from updating it on social media? Nothing but people’s concern and pity.The Bible clearly says, when you pray to the Lord in your inner house, the answers are explicit. When Hannah poured out her heart in the presence of the Lord, her worry was taken away. Christians have to take their worries to the Lord rather than publicize them.
Take your worries to the Lord in pray
To think is to ponder about an issue deeply. All of us think. Most of us over think. A girl would think about her results, then about her job and career. Contemplate about her future life partner. Brood over her child and education. Muse about child’s future. These thoughts keep cycling. They are never ending.
In our mind we keep meditating on ways to attain our desires. We muse all means, short cuts, normal ways, usual methods and newer possibilities. Repetitive brooding will not achieve what you need. Instead it will pressurize you.
What does the Bible say about thinking? Think whatever is true. Think those things, which are admirable. Think pure and lovely things. Think such things, which are right and noble. On the whole, meditate on issue that are excellent and praiseworthy.
Profligate thinking pressurizes while praiseworthy thinking promises pleasure
Dwelling with the Lord is an awesome experience. There is a proverb in Tamil, which saying, the strand used to tie jasmine flower will also acquire the aroma. Those who dwell with the Lord will have distinctive characteristics that identify them.
One important character is integrity. Integrity means being the same before all. A man of integrity walks uprightly and works diligently. He speaks the truth from his heart. He honors those who fear the Lord. These are three positive aspects of integrity. Negative aspects of integrity are: does not backbite with his tongue, does no evil to his neighbor and does not take up reproach against his friend.
When we call ourselves as Christians we are sure to dwell with the Lord. Hence, integrity should be inseparable component of our life. Integrity is essential to dwell with The Lord.
“A man of integrity behaves the same before the king, a beggar and his family.”