Thanksgiving. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you read or hear that word? Is it a day, a family meal, or perhaps a specific menu of foods? Is it an attitude that comes and goes based on how you feel? Or is it a way of life which flows from you regardless of your circumstances? These devotions I will be sharing this month were originally written throughout November 2019 and then edited/updated during the summer of 2020 for a 31 day devotional journal, “The Heart of Thanksgiving: Living a Life of Thankfulness”. I will be re-sharing them here this month to encourage each of us to pursue a greater spirit of thankfulness in all we do.
Here is day sixteen with an important reminder that living with a heart of thanksgiving should cause us to be thankful for a God who builds by His plan and power.
Thankful For a God Who Builds
“Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.”
Psalm 127:1 (NIV)
Today I am thankful for a God that takes notice and works for my good. It can be very easy to think I have to build my life and a fruitful ministry on my own. In fact, many voices in today’s Christian culture shout quite loudly about the secrets to church and ministry growth that can be found in self-promotion and catering to a specific group that can best further your growth goals. It is in that world in which I often feel invisible that I am thankful for a God who watches over my work and provides direction that will honor Him and bear much fruit.
I am thankful today for conversations I will have that will be an encouragement to me and to those with whom I speak. I am thankful that while I struggle to understand what the next step for the prayer ministry is, God continues to remind me that it is in His hands and His timing. I am thankful for what God has been building and for the fruit that already exists. I am thankful for the tears of those who are so overwhelmed with the goodness of God as He uses me to provide a spoken word and a printed resource that meets them exactly where they are. I am thankful for those who look for me at conventions so that they can be encouraged, and that they can encourage me. I am thankful for those God has touched through my writings in such a way that they can’t help but share.
As the sun rose over the city this morning, my room is facing in such a way that I didn’t have a view of the sunrise. However, it wasn’t long before the glow of color spread around the buildings and filled the sky in all directions so that I could at least get a glimpse of what God was doing. We may not always have a front row seat when it comes to observing the work of God, but His work is so incredible that it can’t be hidden from those who are looking for it.
As you pray, ask God to help you trust Him to build your life and the fruit He would have it bear. Pray that you would be patient in allowing God to accomplish His work in you and in others. Pray for a spirit that honors the working of God as it rejects the ways of men.
I pray that you and I would always look to God as the One to build our house, establish our work, and watch over our city. I pray that we would reject the wisdom of man that gives preferential treatment to any group, and instead we would build our life and work on the wisdom of God who cares equally for each person. I pray that our work would not be done in vain as we look to God as the source and director for all we do.