Attitude of Gratitude

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“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.” Psalm107:150

In today’s world, not many of us are satisfied with life. We desire more and more from it and are disappointed with things we can’t receive. We are frustrated because of our unfulfilled dreams or failed plans. We often complain and get resentful about our circumstances and shortcomings. We focus more on things we don’t have. In the midst of all our discontentment, we often overlook things God has blessed us with and forget to count our blessings.

Today I am honored to share my Devotion ” Attitude of Gratitude” at BlOGS BY CHRISTIAN WOMEN https://blogsbychristianwomen.com/

Please read the entire Post here:https://blogsbychristianwomen.com/attitude-of-gratitude

In Christ alone my worth is found!

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During my childhood, I used to study hard to get good marks for my exams. I wanted my Dad to feel proud of me and love me more because of my achievements. Whenever I would score good marks, get prize in competitions, draw a picture, make a good craft piece, clean my house or help mom in cooking I would wait for my Dad to come home so I can show it to him. I desperately wanted him to appreciate me and feel good about everything I did. As a child, I always thought my good marks, good behavior, achievements will bring little happiness to my Dad who works hard to meet my needs.

My Dad did appreciate me but I always thought it wasn’t enough. I longed for a genuine appreciation for all my hard works. I really wanted him to be truly happy in all my success and to really feel proud of his daughter. Because all I wanted is, his words of appreciation to make me feel worthy of myself. The more he would appreciate the more I would feel self-worth and confidence. Whenever he didn’t appreciate the way I wanted, I felt the opposite.

When I was married, I took off the crown of appreciator from my Dad’s head and placed it on my husband’s head. I began to look to him for appreciation. Every single thing I did like cooking, cleaning, trying out a new dish, even folding his clothes I wanted him to appreciate me and love me for my hard work and sacrifices for family. Unfortunately my husband failed to live up to my expectations too. He did appreciate me but I always thought I deserved more of it for all I do for him. Because all I expected from him is his words of appreciation for me so I can feel worthy of myself.

I tried finding my worth in my achievements, my good deeds, my Dad’s appreciation, my husband’s pat on my shoulder and in earning ‘Good Job’ badges for everything I did. I thought my value comes from my performance and other’s opinion about it.

Once there was a time in my life, when I had no one to appreciate or encourage me on anything I did or achieve. That was the time God was teaching me to realize my worth in the most darkest and lonely moments of my life. He knew exactly what needed to be done in my case to make me depend on Him alone. In my solitude, I learned the incredible lessons of self worth which I wouldn’t trade for anything in this world.

God teaches us to understand our value in the loneliest places.

When I had no other place to look for my worth accept His Word, I found the truths about myself and who I am in Him. He is the one who determines my value and I don’t even have to earn it. My value doesn’t come from my achievements, people’s opinion about me or anything I do but my value comes from God who says I am loved, accepted, celebrated and cherished by Him.

“You were bought at the price.” 1 Corinthians 6:20

I now know that my true worth is found in Christ alone who paid the price for me.

When I found my value in Him, my God-given potentials were unlocked. No longer I had the pressure of what people think about me, my performance or my failure. But I was free to be just me, believing everything He said about me and thriving in my new identity which was secured in Him.

Dear Father!

 Thank you so much for finding me worthy of your love. Thank you for choosing me to be your daughter. Help me to remain rooted in my identity in you. Help me not to look at others for defining my worth, not to depend on my achievements or good deeds but guide me to take each steps towards the treasure you have for me. Let my true worth be always founded on your unconditional love for me. Amen!

This post is part of the weekly (Five Minute Friday link-up)

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Are you hearing all voices except His?

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A couple of weeks ago, one of our friends and his family visited our home first time. We know them from past 8 years as we were together on Ywam outreach in Sri Lanka in 2010. We met after a long time so all the memories of our outreach were evoked. We recalled the travels, the stay, food, fun, ministry and all the ups and downs we had. During our outreach ministry, we as a team of ten people shared Gospel through personal testimonies, messages, choreography and skits. We all had awesome time of ministry during our three months of internship which we all have always cherished to this time.

I remember, my favorite part of outreach ministry was to perform skits. It was exciting to act different characters. We had few skits to perform each time we visited the local community, churches and villages of Sri lanka. People always responded well to the skits.

One of the skits was about a person’s identity and worth. This person doesn’t know who he is. He is on a journey to search for his real identity and worth. Whomever he meets on his way, isn’t able to tell him who he really is. People say, “You aren’t of any worth, you aren’t loved, you aren’t good looking, you aren’t talented, you are rejected, you are a failure and there is no hope for you. All these voices begin to echo in his ears and he is totally confused about his real identity and worth. He starts to believe what people have said about him. Out of despair he cries out in a lonely place where he meets Jesus who tells him his real identity. Jesus says to him that he is a child of God, he is created in God’s image, he is worthy, he can do all things through Him, he is loved and accepted because Jesus himself has died on the cross for him to give him a life of worth and  true identity.

While recalling this skit today, I began to ponder deeply on the beautiful message it conveys. Once I had played the main character, not in the skit but in a my real life. And I know how it felt to wonder about my true identity.  All the voices were telling me that I am of no worth, I am unaccepted, cursed, unloved, unnoticed, forgotten, and left alone. I thought I can’t be a good mother, a wife or a daughter to my family. I allowed those voices to define my identity. I believed what they said to be true about me. In a culture where people think God’s blessings are all about prosperity, health and success, I couldn’t stand my faith with everything happening just opposite in my life year after year after year. Alone in my room with my sick child I ended my days with tears, bitterness and feelings of loneliness and rejection.

I doubted God’s love for me, I doubted His plans for my life, I denied the purpose of my life and I even wondered if He really had any plan for me when I was created.

All these lies crippled my confidence and self-esteem leaving me to wonder about my real identity and worth. And just like the skit, Jesus had to visit my lonely soul once again to remind me of my real identity and worth in Him.

I found these truth about myself after digging deep into His Word whenever I felt defeated by the negative voices.

When I thought I was of no value, He said, “I paid the price for you on the cross so I alone know the worth of you.” 1 Corinthians 6:20

When I thought I was unnoticed, He said, “I see you, I see every tears that fall from your eyes.” Genesis 16:13

When I thought I was left alone, He said, “ You aren’t alone. I am with you always.” Isaiah 41:10

When I thought the struggles of my life will always last, He said, “Your days of sorrows will end. “ Isaiah 60:20

When I thought there isn’t any hope for my life, He said, “I have plans for your life.” Jeremiah 29:11

When I thought I was forgotten by Him, He said, “I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” Isaiah 49:16

When I thought I will never be able to do anything in my life, He said, “I will strengthen you to do all things.” Philippians 4:13

Instead of listening to the negative voices, I began to incline my ears to His Word. Instead of feeling defeated by them, I began to raise up knowing my true worth is found in Him alone. Whenever my strength failed, He embraced me with His outstretched arms, raised me out of the ashes, crowned my life with beauty, joy, peace, self-worth and reminded me of my true identity as the DAUGHTER OF THE MOST HIGH GOD.

And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18

Dear Friend, I don’t know if you too are struggling to find your true identity and worth in the world which is full of different voices. Let me encourage you to look to the one who paid the price for you. Seek Him for He alone knows how much it cost. Don’t ever let any negative voices define your identity and worth. You are the child of the most high God. You are forgiven, accepted, loved, chosen, and valued by your Heavenly Father. You are precious to Him because you were bought by His precious blood. Let your identity and worth be defined by His unconditional love for you.

 

 

 

 

Are you feeling left behind?

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Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” John 5:8

He missed out last 38 chances to be healed. After waiting for so long and being disappointed each time, he probably gave up on himself. There was no one to help take him into the pool. He probably was tired of waiting for a miracle for himself. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he already had been in that condition for a long time, Jesus asked him if he really wanted to get well.

In John chapter 5, we read a story of a man who was sick for 38 years. It’s a story we have been listening to since our Sunday school time. This man was laying at the pool of Bethesda for a very long time. He probably spent the best part of his life in despair and in a hopeless situation as he had been sick for 38 years. He was lying on a porch waiting for the moving of the water, but whenever the Angel came down into the pool and stirred up the water, somebody always stepped down before him.
There are seasons in our lives where we feel forgotten and left behind. Expecting a miracle can be so challenging when we have waited for a quite long time being in a same condition. It’s very easy to believe that nothing will ever change; we will remain the same. We kind of find a compromise with our crisis. We give up on our lives, our dreams, and probably even we give up on God. It looks like we are just fine with our crisis. It doesn’t seem like we ever want a change, a miracle, or a fulfillment of our dreams from God.
He says to Jesus that he has no one to help him into the pool when the water is stirred. While he is trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of him.

Many times its easy to blame others for our inability, our lack of progress and our problems when people goes ahead of us and we remain in the same situation. Someone else is promoted and we often miss out on opportunities.

We read in the scripture that Jesus commands him to pick up his mat and walk .(John 5:8)  Jesus heals him and he not only receives healing but also a Savior for Life.

Dear friend, I don’t know which crisis you are struggling with right now. You may feel like giving up, feel like compromising with it and feel like there is no hope, no one is there to help you out. You have missed out on many opportunities. Others have gone ahead of you and you are left behind. It may look like you are just fine with your adversity. You have stopped expecting any change for your situation.

Let me encourage you today. You will not be left behind. When there was a hope for a man who was as equal as dead near the pool of Bethesda, then there is sure hope for you in Christ Jesus. God is the one who defines your destiny. He has the answer for you. He holds the key to unlock your future.  In His time He will raise you up. You are probably still waiting for someone else to help you get into the pool, but the Lord himself will visit you. You were not created to drag through life constantly. Don’t settle down for mediocrity. His promises never fail. He will raise you out of lack into abundance, out of sickness into healing, out of failure into success, and out of despair into His joy and peace.

 

 

 

Hope in His unfailing Love

I am glad to have my friend Louja Blesson sharing her story with us this week. Let’s read how God has helped her to soar on the wings of Faith in the midst of her trials.

Welcome Louja!

I had many dreams about my life. I shared them with my Lord always. Whenever I prayed, I earnestly ask for His will to be done in my life than my desires. I got married to a committed missionary who was ministering in Gujarat, the northern part of India. Our new life was happy. I suffered with jaundice twice, so we waited for a baby for two years. I remember the day when I knew I was going to be a mother. We were so happy with the news. But fourth month’s scanning report brought fear and grief to us. The report showed our baby had Chiari II Malformation with spina bifida. Doctors suggested us to abort the baby. They said she may die, she may be paralyzed or may have severe abnormalities.

I and my husband took a decision which was foolishness to medical science. We said we need our baby. It’s only God who can give her life or take her life away. The one who created her can heal her. We were not ready to abort her. We shared this with few people who could earnestly pray for us. I did not know how I could face those days. I can say His grace and His presence led me through the valley of agony. God helped me to accept the situation. He talked to me personally and encouraged me through His Word and servants.

Scanning reports were coming with negative impact. But we believed in Jesus and His promises. On 2nd November 2016, I gave birth to my beautiful Elizabeth. I remembered the first words of the doctor, “You got a baby girl, and the defects that we found through scanning are there”.

She had the same problems. We were shocked by hearing those words. I asked Lord, why it happened to me? She was in the ICU for two days. She had a wound on her back. Every day they dressed her wound. Her left leg only had movements. It was difficult to control her cries.

Weeks and months passed by, we were in different hospitals. We were keep praying for her. Her first surgery was done when she was one and half month old. There were 14 stitches on her back. She got infection on it and it was really worse. But my Heavenly Father did not give her to death. She was getting good treatment and recovering from the infection. Slowly she came to life and started to smile.

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Now she is six month old. Doctors suggested many surgeries. But we trust in our Lord who has given us promises. He will heal our baby. She has no movements in her legs. But she will walk one day. Her other activities are normal not according to the MRI report.

Sometimes the answer of our prayer and faith may have to face challenges. But keep trust in Him. He never leave us in the midst of red sea. He will be with us always. When our hope is in heaven, it helps us to get through the hard days. The hope of God is sure, real and made possible by Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross. It not only enables us to get through the hard days but also helps us to have the joy and peace in  the valley of sorrows.

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” (1 Peter 5:10).

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                   Louja with her husband and their seven months old daughter Elizabeth.