"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." -- Psalm 107:1
Our pastor preached a sermon this morning on being thankful even when we have insufficient funds in our bank account. Although his message dealt with financial stress and our tendency to let a slim wallet diminish our worship and thankfulness for God's blessings, it occurred to me that being spiritually bankrupt can accomplish the same thing.
All too often we are guilty of allowing adverse circumstances, heartbreak, and family dysfunction steal our joy. Why is that? Personally, this is something I have been struggling with a lot lately. I have found it difficult to grow in my relationship with God because of all the distracting messes that are a part of my life. In a sense, I have been going through the motions during my quiet time and feel that I am standing still rather than maturing in my walk with the Lord. Keeping my eyes focused on God rather than on my problems is so hard. There are many people who share this struggle. So why do some people cave in to despair while others maintain a joyful, positive outlook despite the problems they face?
Just as we must deposit money into a bank account if we are to withdraw money from it to pay bills, feed our families, and have cash on hand for everyday expenses, we must fill our minds and hearts with the truths of God's Word if we are to gain strength and have grace to persevere through the difficult trials we face in this life. How can we deal with financial lack if we don't know the Lord's promises of provision (Philippians 4:19, Matthew 6:25-26)? How can we face devastating illness without the hope of his healing (James 5:16)? As parents of wayward children, how can we survive the emotional roller coaster ride without some assurance that it will eventually end and our prodigal children will find their way back home to the Lord they once loved and worshipped (Proverbs 22:6)?
When is the last time you took a withdrawal from God's Word and made a deposit into your spiritual bank account? If it has been awhile, take a few minutes this week to seek the Lord by reading his Word and talking with him in prayer. He has everything you need not only to survive in this crazy mixed-up world, but to thrive in it with a smile on your face and a heart filled with joy and thanksgiving. And you can take that to the bank!