Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Transforming Praise (chapter 14)

AUTHOR NOTES
Read Ruth 2:17-21

"...Kindness cracked the cocoon of Naomi’s bitterness, but it was Naomi’s response of gratitude and praise that put the wind beneath her wings and helped her soar. She saw that the answer to her prayer over Ruth and Orpah for kindness and rest had landed back on her own head with divine generosity and lavish grace. She would have been grateful for only one portion of daily bread, but the Lord provided twenty-fold...

Instead of bitterness over all she’d lost in her past, her thoughts turned toward redemption and the future. What was going on in her mind reminds me of Romans 12:2a, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind."

Grieving lends itself to a time of introspection. To a certain limit, self-centeredness is a survival skill. Yet, such a focus on self can become a bitter trap. Allowing negative feelings to make our decisions and shape our relationships will certainly complicate and perpetuate any grief we are experiencing.

Speaking words of praise as Naomi did is one key to renewing our mind and not getting trapped in grief. We don’t have to feel it to speak it. Rather, we speak from our knowledge of God, telling the facts. Praise comes from an attitude (not an emotion) of gratitude and shakes everyone into the proper slot: God is high, holy, and eternal! The universe revolves around him, not us. Realizing that, we give thanks in everything; we weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice; and we determine to trust God in spite of our circumstance.

In other words, we do the impossible: We trust God and praise him..."

It doesn't happen overnight and I don't want broken-hearted people thinking their feelings are wrong. Feelings are just feelings though, and we have a logical choice as to what we do with them. Don't fake it. God doesn't expect that, but He is an expert at bringing new life. Choose to be willing and ready to see it.  

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
(chapter 14 of Postcards, and Ruth 2:17-21)

What are you grateful for? Why not begin today to post one thing on your blog, in a blog comment,  or on Facebook or Twitter? See if you can do this once a day every day from now until Thanksgiving. Leave a one word comment here today: I thank God for ___________.

PRAYER
 


Dear Lord,
You numbered the stars, the hairs on my head, and the grains of barley on Naomi’s kitchen table. These are huge numbers, but your benefits to me are far more numerous. Like Naomi, I offer praise to you for not forgetting me and for showing me kindness and blessing.
Amen.

21 comments:

  1. Comments today can be just one word. If you'd like to say more we'd love to hear it too! Otherwise just fill in the blank: I thank God for ______________ (silly, sweet, or profound---everything matters!)

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  3. unconditional love :-)

    dodi

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  4. A SMILE from my mama! ~ Elizabeth (Beth) Adele

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  5. Squirrels!!! ;). ~ Beth ~

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  6. Grace and Tolerance (_Regina V_) Hi, Ferree

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  7. These are lovely! I'm thankful for squirrel jokes! Let's keep this going all week my friends.

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  10. For His provision even though I don't see it yet I know its coming.

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