Be Calm. Be Strong. Be Thankful!

Be Calm. Be Strong. Be Thankful!

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15
Her warm, cheerful country kitchen was a lovely place to sit with a coffee and talk about life.

The wooden plaque on the wall spoke volumes.

“Be calm. Be strong. Be thankful.”

Jill made the words come alive as she shared some of the hardship and deep grief her family had endured. In the midst of the moments, as she walked, this focus held her gaze and gave her an uncommon steadiness. Yet it was not rooted in her own ability to be strong. It was much deeper. The words on her plaque helped her shift her focus to let the peace of Christ rule in her heart.

I learned much from my friend.

We all face times with we feel anxious, weak, frightened or confused. Life has a way of throwing unexpected curve balls. Reactions can overtake us. These words, “Be calm. Be strong. Be thankful!” have a way of pointing us in the direction of choosing our responses rather than being swept away. The way we choose to respond will characterize our lives. We can move toward Jesus and His peace, or we can continue in turmoil in the midst of the unexpected.

I often think of Jill’s wooden plaque, and the wisdom those words bring. When uncertainty creeps into the day through the news, a phone call or some unexpected circumstance, let’s be challenged to let these words shift our gaze to Jesus, and choose to let His peace encompass us. As we do, His calm and His strength will fill us. He will give the courage to seek thankfulness, even when its hard to find.

“Be calm. Be strong. Be thankful!” Let these words help shift your gaze to Jesus when uncertainty threatens to overthrow you. He is calm and strong and you can lean into that! He is faithful!!

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15
Lord Jesus, You are my Peace. When uncertainty plunges unexpectedly into my day today please remind me, by Your Spirit, to “Be calm. Be strong. Be thankful.” I choose today to LET the peace of Christ rule in my heart and to search for Your treasures of thanksgiving. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

By Gail Rodgers
Used by Permission

An Attitude of Gratitude

A grateful heart sees each day as a gift.
Thankful people focus less on what they lack and more on the privileges they have. I attended a banquet recently in which a wounded soldier was presented with the gift of a free house. He nearly fell over with gratitude. He bounded onto the stage with his one good leg and threw both arms around the presenter. “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” He hugged the guitar player in the band and the big woman on the front row. He thanked the waiter, the other soldiers, and then the presenter again. Before the night was over, he thanked me! And I didn’t do anything.

Shouldn’t we be equally grateful? Jesus is building a house for us (John 14:2). Our deed of ownership is every bit as certain as that of the soldier. What’s more, Jesus cured our leprosy. Sin cankered our souls and benumbed our senses. Yet the Man on the path told us we were healed, and, lo and behold, we were!

The grateful heart is like a magnet sweeping over the day, collecting reasons for gratitude. A zillion diamonds sparkle against the velvet of your sky every night. Thank you, God. A miracle of muscles enables your eyes to read these words and your brain to process them. Thank you, God. Your lungs inhale and exhale eleven thousand liters of air every day. Your heart will beat about three billion times in your lifetime. Your brain is a veritable electric generator of power. Thank you, God.

For the jam on our toast and the milk on our cereal. For the blanket that calms us and the joke that delights us and the warm sun that reminds us of God’s love. For the thousands of planes that did not crash today. For the men who didn’t cheat on their wives, and the wives who didn’t turn from their men, and the kids who, in spite of unspeakable pressure to dishonor their parents, decided not to do so. Thank you, Lord.

Gratitude gets us through the hard stuff. To reflect on your blessings is to rehearse God’s accomplishments. To rehearse God’s accomplishments is to discover his heart. To discover his heart is to discover not just good gifts but the Good Giver. Gratitude always leaves us looking at God and away from dread. It does to anxiety what the morning sun does to valley mist. It burns it up.

Join the ranks of the 10 percent who give God a standing ovation. “Give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” Ephesians 5:20 (NLT).

By Max Lucado
Used by permission


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