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Fleas, Vexation and Adoration

From Scotty Smith’s November 20, 2018 Heavenward Blog at The Gospel Coalition

“The one who offers thanksgiving as his
sacrifice glorifies me (Psalm 50:23 ESV).”

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (2 Cor. 9:15 NIV)

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thess. 5:16-18 NIV).

Heavenly Father, having recently visited two German concentration/death camps in Poland, I revisited Betsie and Corrie ten Boom’s stories of learning to be content and give thanks, even in Ravensbrück—even for fleas. Why would I ever whine, carp, or pout about anything?

So as this Thanksgiving week continues to unfold, I’m determined to fill your courts with praise, and my heart with gratitude. First of all, thank you for the “indescribable gift” of the gospel. Because of Jesus, no condemnation is left for our sin, and His perfect righteousness is declared to be ours. Believing this, how is it possible for me to indulge grumbling and complaining, envy and greed?

We have citizenship in heaven, our names are written in the Lamb’s book, and we’re co-heir with Jesus of everything. Your Word commends contentment with food and clothes (1 Tim. 6:7-10) but you give us a million times more, Father.

Thank you for being tenaciously at work for our good in all things—in things that thrill us and things that vex us; in wounds that still hurt us and failures that still haunt us; in “unanswered” prayers and unforeseen blessings.

Indeed, you are at work in the “gift” of fleas and unexpected raises; in our hardest transitions and biggest triumphs; in our messiest relationships and merriest moments; in windfall profits and wind-taking news.

The circumstances, people, and challenges over which we have zero control—these are the canvas on which you are painting gospel stories with the paint of grace by your hand of love. Give us eyes to see it, Father.

Thank you for being totally sovereign and only good—when we see it and when we don’t. By your Holy Spirit, quickly sabotage our discontent, ingratitude, and gospel amnesia—this week and always. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ exalted and trustworthy name.

Read more of Scotty Smith’s Heavenward Blog at The Gospel Coalition here

Categories: Evergreen Connection