December 18, 2018

The Secret to Hopeful Living

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 18, 2018

I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe.  Ephesians 1:16-18

Last week, I received a delightful text message from a girlfriend: “A life of praise and thankfulness becomes a life filled with miracles.”

My friend wasn’t insinuating you can ultimately control your own life, or receive what you want if you believe and have positive thoughts. Instead, she was sharing a profound, life-giving thought: praise and thankfulness open your eyes to see hope.

My beautiful friend, Maxine, was a grateful and God-praising woman who passed away from cancer in 2012. On the week before she ran away with Jesus, I visited her at her home. Because I had been living in Georgia and she was in Colorado, I hadn’t seen her for several months so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

As I entered her room, I was shocked by what I saw. Her body was withered and small, the effects of a disease that would not let her go. But her spirit was still vibrant. In her normal cheery voice she patted the bed next to her and said, “Well, hello sweetheart! Sit.”

As we spoke, I told her I had always considered her a godly woman but that now, against the backdrop of cancer, her spirit was shining brightly and she was glorifying God. She replied. “I want to glorify Him. I do. I really do.” Then, as her eyes filled with tears she said, “You would not believe the blessings that have come to me during this time.”

Max’s mouth was always filled with praise and thankfulness and so she was never short on miracles. On the day of her funeral, one of her cousins said of her, “Maxine lived until the day she died.” Indeed, she did.

The real hope Max witnessed had everything to do with the condition of her heart because the condition of our hearts always affects what we see with our eyes. The spiritual always affects the natural.

In Ephesians 1:16, 19 Paul wrote, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know. . . his incomparably great power for us who believe.”

Isn’t this wonderful? Paul is saying you can know his incomparably great power toward you.
And, when you choose an attitude of praise and thankfulness, you will begin to notice God’s miracles in your life because the eyes of your heart will be enlightened. The landscape of your lives will open up so you can see His blessing with fresh spiritual eyes.

Hallelujah!

O Lord, open my lips, That my mouth may declare Your praise (Psalm 51:15).

Prayer

Lord, help me not to grumble and complain so that I miss your miracles. Instead, I choose to live with a mouth of praise and gratitude. Thank you for helping me see your work in my life. Amen.


Application

For the next 24 hours, make it a point to praise God and live with a heart of gratitude. Then, at the end of that time, take note of what you learned from your experience.


Related Reading

Psalm 119:7; Psalm 63:3; Psalm 9:1


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A life of praise and thankfulness becomes a life filled with hope. #WisdomHunters #hope


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