Pastors Message

As Pastors are vacationing for the next two weeks, with their permission, I decided to share selections from a devotional my friend Vickie and I did together. This devotion is from a seven day study titled “Faith, Love, Hope: A Reason to Celebrate” by various location pastors of Citipointe Church in Australia, the USA, New Zealand, and Europe. Be grateful, thankful, and full of pure joy every day in every way!

Devotional – Sustainable Gratitude (Day 4)

Scripture – Psalm 51:10

Is it possible to be grateful all the time, even through trials? Yes it is!

Have you ever met a person who seems to always be positive and have an attitude of gratitude towards life? Maybe you’ve thought they’re weird, or somehow they missed the daily trials the rest of us have had to be constantly and consistently upbeat, right?

I, too, thought like this once, but to be honest I actually wished I knew how to be grateful through trials and in my everyday life. I thought it was due to some external factor that I was missing that would somehow ‘make’ me grateful. The truth is, it’s not whether my circumstances are perfect, or whether all my ducks are in a row that determines my gratitude levels – God says it’s my heart posture.  

In the Bible, David cried out to God “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalms 51:10).  He didn’t say help me behave better or be more resilient.  David prayed for the condition of his heart to be right. He recognised that all gratitude starts in the HEART, not in the circumstances.

The heart through scripture is the ‘inner man’ and in both the Hebrew and Greek it’s described as the ‘seat of our emotions, passions, joy, gladness, thoughts’.  Luke 6:45 adds that “for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” – so, really the heart is that central place, or inner man, inside us which dictates our words, attitudes and emotions. Wow! No wonder David desperately wanted God to create a clean heart inside him!

In the Bible we see how Israel strayed away from God and made their own idols. They would often be reminded of the Lord, their God, who delivered them from Egypt. They were reminded of the Lord who did great things for their nation. God was their rescuer and deliverer.   

Even today we can be the same. So often we can stray from God, be distracted, idolize or dwell on wrong things. We need God to do what He did for Israel and give us a revelation in our hearts of how amazing He is – because when that fills our hearts, thankfulness, joy and gratitude overflows. Gratitude flows from the inside out.

And this is the key to being thankful in all seasons – no matter the circumstances or the trials we face. Pastor Mike Mulheran preached a message awhile back and he said the statement “Thanksgiving flows from right remembering”.  Whether you feel you are in the desert right now and life feels tough or whether life is great and everything is smooth sailing – having a  revelation of God – what He has saved you from, His immeasurable love for you, His unending grace toward you, His majesty and mighty deeds, His abundant creation all around, your future with God – is what creates a thankful heart, overflowing with gratitude.  There is a new horizon of joy for you when your heart is fixed on the right things.  Determine today that this will be part of your life – and you will be known as the person who has joy through all seasons of life.

What do I do from here? Let’s search for more than knowledge – but a revelation. Ask God to create a new heart inside us, founded on this revelation of who God is. 

Pray With Me:

God, You are steadfast and good, no matter the season I find myself in. Today I believe that who You are in my life isn’t dictated by my emotions or experience and that my joy is in knowing You are the same every day. You are always for me, not against me. You love me unconditionally and Your grace is sufficient for me everyday. God, create in me a clean heart that my emotions, thoughts, and confession will flow from;  that Your joy will be my strength and I will speak of your goodness and faithfulness all my days – Amen!

Written by Graeme Politanski, Location Pastor, Citipointe Church Brisbane North

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Wishing you joy and peace in your day!  Remember, God’s got this.

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