Today’s “God Calling” reminds us that praise and thankfulness are always the first step in approaching God; especially when we find ourselves in distress and troubles seem overwhelming. I’ve found over the years that when I do this, almost immediately, things seem less overwhelming and the feeling of oppression is lifted. Thanking God and blessing Him in the storm puts me in the frame of mind that, now, instead of the storm, I have a start on further growth in the Lord. I’ve put myself in the frame of mind that enables me to see the blessing in the trial or tribulation. My mind and heart are now open to learn something and to grow and stretch my spirit; to increase my faith and strengthen my relationship with the Lord.
The message today is based on the 34th Psalm, which tells how very near God is. When troubles surround us and we find ourselves faced with seemingly overwhelming tribulation and adversity, our natural instinct is to fear. We become filled with fear, which confuses our spirit. But the LORD delivers us from that fear. (Psalm 34:4&5) The instant we begin to thank and praise Him, the fears begin to crumble and we get a foothold on the way up, out and over the adversity.
Thankfulness is a state of being-or should be, anyway. It is an attitude of gratefulness. You know who holds your future. Your past was passed on Calvary and God is present in your present. That’s all that matters. Living in a state of praise and gratitude is simply realizing how much you’ve got in the little you may have; and knowing it’s enough. Actually, with God, it’s always more than enough.
There’s a line in today’s message that addresses getting right with God first, then, as a result, being righted before men. When I read this message a couple of years ago, I had this amusing image of some so called “saints of God” (believers) strutting up to the throne. On the bottom of one shoe and trailing a mile behind them was a “mile” of dirty toilet paper. Some people refuse to acknowledge that toilet paper’s there. They just keep right on going like nothing’s wrong; until they’re alone. Then they’ll pull it off and act like it didn’t happen. We’re not fooling anyone but ourselves when we do that. We like to pretend that nobody sees it, especially not God. “But I belong to…” “I wear designer…” “I have my hair and nails done every…” “I know how to “Hallelujah” in all the right places.” And then there are a few of us-like “Yours Truly”- who go before Him and suddenly realize that the back of our dresses are tucked into our pantyhose. What are you to do then? You know He knows because He’s laughing watching you trying to cover your butt yourself-He does have a sense of humor. In fact, He’s been laughing about this moment of “truth” since before you were born-affectionately, of course. But, He created you anyway; even though He could see your “butt” and even though He knew your “butt” was going to be “the death of Him” someday on that cross. He did it anyway because He loves you. You may as well just say, “Excuse me, Lord while I try to straighten out my dress (mess); and could you please help me?” The instant you do that, He starts to help you get it righted. Now, you also are “righted” before men.