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Christian Living

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Grin and Grow with Kathy 03/22/17

Be Glad—You Who are Grateful

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STORY

Have you ever had a time when it was hard to come up with a gratitude list because everything that could go wrong did go wrong that day? No news followed by bad news, and good news seemed to be on strike? Try this. Make a list of the most ridiculous things about your day. See if that can force a grin out of you. If not, take a look at what the psalmist said in Psalm 118:24 (NLT), “This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” When you can’t think of anything good about your day, try saying, “Well...it’s a day!” The psalmist didn’t say it was a blessed day or even a good day. Nope. Just, it’s a day. But wait—there’s more! Even on our worst days, it’s not just any old day. It is the day the Lord has made!

Every day we have 86,400 seconds custom-made by God. In a world of cookie-cutter clones, having something tailored by the Creator Himself seems like a pretty good reason to be glad. So I will be glad in it. In what? In the day the Lord has made!

Let’s study that verse and others that talk about how gratitude makes us glad!

STUDY: God’s Presence Inspires Gladness

This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24 NLT)

  • There are plenty of days I don’t wake up glad. I don’t wake up rejoicing. In fact, I feel pretty much the opposite of that! Perhaps you can relate to that. So, how do you make the switch with your mind so you can rejoice?
  • What does it do for your gladness quotient to know the Lord made this day? How does it impact your choices for the day?
  • How do you rejoice? When you do, how does that refocus your mindset and restructure your day?
  • How can you be glad when it’s a stinky day?

The Lord will comfort Israel again and have pity on her ruins. Her desert will blossom like Eden, her barren wilderness like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found there. Songs of thanksgiving will fill the air. (Isaiah 51:3 NLT)

  • This is a prophetic verse of things to come for Israel. But since Christ followers are grafted in to the family of God, we can join in with anticipation of the day Israel is blessed by God. Look at the changes God will do as He comforts Israel. He is motivated out of a pity for how Israel had been ruined by her enemies. Do you think God pities the way your life has been ruined by circumstances? When you are hurting, do you think He feels compelled to comfort you?
  • Israel in this verse is going to be reborn. How does God offer rebirth to you personally?
  • This verse said that joy and gladness can be found in the blessed Israel. When you think of your personal rebirth, do you find joy and gladness? The more you appreciate the transformation and comfort from God, the more your gladness quotient grows.
  • Do songs of thanksgiving fill your heart as you think of your rebirth? If you’ve lost that joy you used to have, what needs to happen to get it back?

Don’t be afraid, O land. Be glad now and rejoice, for the Lord has done great things. (Joel 2:21)

  • What are some great things the Lord has done?
  • When you think of those great things, does it help alleviate any fears you might have?
  • As you recount the great things God has done, does it fill you with gladness? Does it inspire you to rejoice?
  • The best remedy for fear is to remember how your BIG God worked BIG things in the past, inspiring BIG gladness even now.

King David said this about him: “I see that the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts his praises! My body rests in hope. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave. You have shown me the way of life, and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.” (Acts 2:25-28 NLT)

  • On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit filled the believers gathered together. The crowd scoffed at them, and Peter stepped forward to proclaim the gospel of Jesus. Born, lived, crucified, and resurrected. He used examples from their heroes to show how God transforms lives. In this passage, he quotes from David. In that context, what do you think David’s words mean for the day of Pentecost?
  • What is on David’s gratitude list in this passage?
  • Do you feel rattled by something going on in your life? David shared how God’s presence right there with him helped him to not be shaken. What can you do to sense God’s presence more?
  • How does God’s presence in your life help you be glad even when your current circumstances are difficult?
  • In this verse, God’s presence in difficult times leads to gladness. And gladness leads to hope. Read the passage again and consider some ways God gives you hope.

STEPS: Don’t Wait for Good Times to Be Glad

  1. Practice the presence of God in your own life. How can you focus on God being with you?
  2. Keep a gratitude list for 21 days. Once you’ve started, you won’t want to stop!
  3. Sing a song about God’s goodness. If you can’t sing, read the lyrics. Even when our circumstances aren’t good, God is good. Thinking about His goodness can make you glad.

Copyright © 2017 Kathy Carlton Willis. Used by permission.

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