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FIRST-PERSON: For peace amid the storms, seek a heart grateful to God

EULESS, Texas (BP)–In light of the storms that have raged in our world over the past few months, our families have grown closer. Many of us have been in the process of rediscovering our faith in God. Others search for an anchor for their families. As we search for that anchor, the Bible teaches us that our families will experience peace and rest as we embrace a heart of gratitude, in spite of our circumstances. We have reason to celebrate and express gratitude to God.

In the Scriptures, we find a person who developed a heart of gratitude, and in that, he found peace in the storm. He experienced the heights and the depths of life. He lived life at the peak and in the deepest valley. His name is David, the great king and leader of Israel.

David knew what it was like to experience storms in life. He faced the storm of fear when Saul set himself to kill David out of rages of jealousy. He faced and failed the storm of temptation when he took another man’s wife. He walked through the storm of death when Absalom, the child conceived out of his affair with Bathsheba, died. He knew the storm of anxiety over the state of his kingdom. He walked in despair when Absalom commandeered David’s own kingdom from him. He raged in the storm of anger when his son was killed by one of his own men. David knew what it was like to feel the stress of the storms of life. But David also knew the most wonderful times of life. David knew how to celebrate God’s goodness with a heart of gratitude. We want to learn from him how to develop a grateful heart.

We find grounds for gratitude in Psalm 103.

Throughout this psalm, David cries out, “Bless the Lord.” David thanks God for who God is, what God has done and where God lives. Why does David thank God for these qualities? First, David expresses his gratitude because of who God is. He does this because David knew that God is faithful to those who serve him. David knew that God does not abandon those he loves. David knew that God cares about us, and will help and save us.

Second, David thanked God for what God had done. Why did he thank God for that? After all, David experienced adultery, rebellion and death in his own family! How can David thank God for his wonderful acts? David can express gratitude to God because he remembered that God is our life-giver, forgiver and life-sustainer. When we remember what God has done for us, we have reason to be grateful!

Finally, David thanked God for his throne in heaven. This fact communicated to David that God is in charge and is powerful to act on behalf of his children. In spite of the struggles of the day, God has the power to deliver. The power and blessing of the government of God will be forever. And when we are facing the horrors and the ungodliness of this world, we are grateful that our God reigns!

There is no doubt that we have all experienced the storms of life in these days. But as we follow our Lord, we can experience peace and direction as he navigates our way through the storm. This is cause for gratitude. We can be grateful that God is our deliverer and our help. We can be grateful that God has always taken care of those who serve him, and will continue to do so. We can be grateful that God’s throne will be forever and forever, giving us hope that although our journey in this world may sometimes be difficult, our eternal home will be forever beautiful. As we develop a grateful heart, like David, we will experience peace in the storms that face our families.
For more of Thomas’ resources on worship, visit Lifepoints, at www.firstonthe.net.

    About the Author

  • Claude Thomas