1 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble
3 and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. - Psalm 107:1-3
My heart is heavy as we begin this bible study on Psalm 107, a psalm about gratitude. Yesterday, my son suffered the consequences of some poor choices he made, and today I go meet with the oncologist to discuss chemo as a treatment for my cancer. I’m not feeling like I have much to be thankful for right now. In fact, there’s a big part of my heart that wants to stomp my feet and raise my fists, and cry out, “Enough already!!” But God, in His divine providence, has me beginning a study on gratitude and His steadfast love. He knows the season I’m in, and it’s by no mistake I’m here. So I’m trying to battle my flesh, and I’m leaning in to listen.
Why should I give thanks? Because He is good. We are reminded in this psalm to give thanks for His goodness four times. Four times. Why so many? Because He knows us, and He knows what this broken world will throw at us. We need to be hear it frequently - we need to say it to each other, and we need to say it to ourselves. God is completely, totally, unilaterally, and only good. We have to remind ourselves of that truth when the storms rage. It can be so easy to forget living in this broken world, especially when the trials come in multiples. But He is good, and He is always at work to bring about His plan for our good...even, especially, in our trials. If you don’t have this truth sealed to your heart when the storm rages and the waves rise, you are going to get knocked out of the boat.
I know He is good in my trials. I have been praying a long time for my son to surrender his life to Jesus. I want so desperately for my son to know the love of Jesus. God IS responding to my prayer by allowing brokenness into his life. The problem is my heart wants things to go easy for my son, I want to protect him from heartache and trials, I want to see him happy. So I am double minded in my prayers - I want him to have a good job, and stable home, peace and security. But if I want him saved, things can’t all be so easy for him. If God answered all those prayers, and made my son’s life go smoothly, how would he know he needs a Savior? How would he know the blessings in his life were coming from answering my prayers. That’s not going to lead to salvation. No, what leads to salvation is having our eyes opened to the broken road we’re on, and having Jesus standing before us with arms outstretched, offering His life in our place. But gosh, it’s so hard to watch your child choose the broken road over and over again. How must God feel when He watches us make poor choices with our lives? His love for us is so much deeper than we can possible fathom or love our own children, and He watches us choose a path of suffering all the time. My heart aches as I watch my son suffer the consequences of his poor choices, and God has to watch us every single day.
The beautiful part is that He doesn’t give up. He continues to love us with a steadfast love that pursues us even in our sin. I can feel His love strengthen me every single day as I walk through this diagnosis and treatment, in little ways and in big ways. One of the things I am most grateful for is the timing of my diagnosis. The world I live may have given me an aggressive, recurrent cancer, but God in His sovereignty, has brought it to light at the absolute perfect time. I continue to hear that from doctors and nurses - they literally could not have caught this any sooner. He is good. And He has a plan for all of this. Though it may feel like I’m walking through a heavy storm some days, I know He loves me with a steadfast love - a love that is unmovable and unchangeable no matter what I face, and I know He is good. For that, I will forever sing Him praises.
Press on ~ you are loved
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