Remember one of the first things we learned as children was to say “Please” and “Thank you?” Once learned, we do it so often it just comes out. Unfortunately, when it becomes automatic, it also becomes somewhat meaningless, doesn’t it?
God has given us more than anyone on earth ever could or ever will. Despite the wonderful things I have received from friends and family, they can’t compare with life, love, health, continued work and (most important) salvation through Messiah Yeshua- all of that is from God.
So I thank God every day; in fact, multiple times during the day. And, yes…sometimes it is rote, it is automatic. I thank him for medicines that work when I take my Zocor in the morning, I thank him for the food He provides whenever I eat a meal or just have a nosh (snack), and I thank Him at the beginning and end of every prayer. I don’t say this to show off or brag about how “holy” or thankful I am, I share this with you to ask if you are as thankful as you should be? The truth is, God has done so much for me that if I was to thank Him for everything He has done, one thing at a time, and once every minute, I would have to live to be older than Methuselah!
When I am praying at worship services, and I cover myself with my Tallit to be in my own little Sukkah, I thank God and cry. Oh, yes, I have Tsouris in my life, I have aches and pains, my hair is thinning at the top and I live in a cursed and fallen world, which is getting worse by the minute. There are many terrible things that happen, and I am more often than not falling short of what I am sure God wants from me. If I concentrated and thought about all the evil I have done to others, and how much I have hurt people, I could go through a ton of anti-depressants and still feel bad.
But thank God (there I go again- thanking God!) that He has taught me that to concentrate on the bad things is to work with the enemy- to berate and belittle myself for being human is to help the enemy steal my soul. This is one of the greatest gifts I have received from the Lord through His Ruach (Spirit): I have realized that when you look to the bad all you see is bad, and when you look to the good then you get to see the good. It’s selective reasoning, selective sight, and selective attitude.
My blood type is B Positive, which may explain why even though I am a cynical so-and-so, I try to see the best outcome, the bright side, the positive. Just like air rushes to fill a vacuum and moths are drawn to the light, I must try to see the best outcome, to explain the reason something is happening is from the the Holy One’s influence. And very often, I have to accept that what I see in the world is not the work of the Holy One, but the work of HaSatan.
When God is absent in a person, there is a vacuum- a spiritual vacuum that cries out to be filled. If the person doesn’t fill it with God’s spirit, then the enemy fills it with himself. Yeshua told the parable of the man who’s house was swept clean, but after the evil spirit left, the man didn’t fill it with the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) so the demon that was evicted came back, with 7 more demons worse than himself and took over, again (Matthew 12:45 and Luke 11:26.)
So, nu? In this world of tsouris and hate, evil and self-importance where the legal powers have rejected God and the godless are held in esteem, how do we stay focused on keeping a positive and God-fearing attitude? The answer is: be thankful. Count your blessings and you will be surprised how many of them there are.
You have to count them correctly, though- you need to be thankful for the way God has protected you. If you have aches and pains, see the positive side of that- you aren’t dead! You don’t have missing limbs, and even if you do, do you have any other limbs that are still working? If you have illness, do you know people who are sicker than you?
In a nutshell, just remember the old adage, “I used to be sad because I had no shoes, then I saw a person who had no feet.” Being thankful, being happy (especially in this world) and being positive is not easy- it is stinking hard! Yeshua didn’t say let’s have a party together, He said pick up your execution stake and follow me. We need to work at seeing the bright side; and when you do, and when you become good at it, you will not only be happier but you will help make others happy, too.
They say to every cloud there is a silver lining. The silver lining is seen when the sun hidden by the cloud comes out from behind it. Every cloud in our life has the Son behind it, waiting to come out and show you the silver lining. We all know that on the cloudiest day, the sun is just behind the cloud waiting to break forth in light. In the same way we need to look for and wait on the Son of God, and God, Himself, to break forth through the clouds of despair and frustration that living in a cursed world will have on all of us. We all become depressed, we all feel out of sorts and desperate now and then. It’s a human thing. Don’t let it get you down.
When we are thirsty we look for water, and when we drink we feel revived. When your soul is thirsty for joy and relief, look for the Living Water and drink your fill.
The way to have joy and spiritual relief is to thank God for all you do have. Don’t get hung-up on the bad stuff but look right through it for the light behind it- seek ye first the things of heaven. There is always something to be thankful for, so go and find it!
If you are sad and depressed, it is no one’s fault but your own. Fight against it! God gives us a spirit of victory, not of fear. The enemy wants you to belittle yourself, to be afraid, to feel alone and unloved. Don’t you dare buy it! God has everything you need, everything that is important and more of it than you can ever use in your entire lifetime. It’s all there for you, already wrapped and waiting for you to open it.
Seek and ye shall find, so get your butt out there and seek! Be thankful, praise God and look for Him in everything. When you do that you find the joy He has for you.