What’s your default mindset when walking through difficulty?
This psalm, written by David who endured suffering and fearful situations more intense than we may ever experience, shows his resolute mindset in the opening words, “I WILL GIVE THANKS to the Lord with my WHOLE heart. I WILL RECOUNT all of your marvelous works.” WOW! His desire was to praise God, ponder on the transformations in his heart that difficulty brought, and “make known all of God’s wonderful works” by sharing with others. It takes all that we have to simultaneously face a difficult person or situation AND praise the Lord.
As I purposely recount my own journey in life, I can’t help but think of our 21-year-old son’s battle with cancer last year. He is in remission, and of course we rejoice and praise God for this outcome. Yet, so many of the “marvelous works” that we recount and praise God for are things unrelated to the healing itself. The beautiful blessing of knowing God more intimately as we poured out our every emotion and fear to him and were met with his peace and strength and renewed perspective. He gave us insight into a world previously unknown to us and thereby increased our awareness, compassion, and our circle of influence. Unable to personally fix this crisis, I watched on the sidelines as God used cancer as a great opportunity for my son and his then-fiancée to mature, have deep conversations, and make decisions many of us will never have to face. I watched God transform a normally anxious heart to one walking confidently in the security of a sovereign God. Like a spectator at a sporting event, I had a front row seat to observe God developing passions and preparing them with knowledge, experience, and skills that I know full-well will be used as they continue their journey in life. I watched, time after time, the fear of the unknown being intentionally exhaled and replaced with breathing in God. This repeated action built tremendous faith… an unshakeable foundation. What a gift for them to go into marriage with this. I saw my easy-going, rather-not-be-in-the-spotlight son be willing to be front and center in order to share how God was at work in his life during his #danielkickscancer journey. He shared at my ladies’ events (you can watch the video of he and Gabi sharing their story here. He accepted speaking opportunities at churches, at his college, for newspapers, for the cancer facilities, and is going to be featured in Woman’s World magazine. What what? Only God. I saw the tendency to be consumed with our own problems be battled and overcome by being sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to give and do for others. What a gift – to experience winning the war of our self-consumed minds by focusing on God and the opportunity to bless and pour into others.
The photo above shows a container that sits in our living room. It holds our own “stones of remembrance,” recording milestones in our life – hardships – that we recount with great praise at the marvelous works He has done.
As you travel through oppression, which Believers are promised, be resolute to look for the beautiful heart transformation available. Don’t miss out. Crisis equals opportunity to know God more. When adversity and suffering hit, choose to make your default mindset be, “I will give thanks with my whole heart; I will recount all your wonderful deeds.”
O Most High, I pray for ____ (specific child, friend, spouse, self) to simultaneously give thanks while walking through difficulty. May he be intentional in his mindset when faced with challenges and fears, to know you more intimately and give every negative emotion to you, allowing you to replace it with your character. May he marvel at the transformation in his heart and the wonderful works you are doing around him. May he be a part of a needed shift in the christian community where we don’t share difficulty or unknowingly think that problems are embarrassing. Rather, may he know that in your sovereignty, this situation gives opportunity to know you, and grow, and praise your name for what the situation has allowed you to work in him. May he be eager for others to join him in transparency and giving thanks and recounting your wonderful deeds.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on our study through Psalms. Join me on Facebook at here.
Rhonda iwillgivethanksiwillrecountyourmarvelousworks ellis