As I've aged my metabolism slowed which impacts how much I eat and I've grown more contemplative. My focus on Thanksgiving has begun to focus more upon what I believe was God's original intent portrayed through the Feast of Tabernacles. Because of that, I've begun to consider what I am truly "-ful" of?
Dictionary.com says that "-ful" is a suffix meaning “full of,” “characterized by” (shameful; beautiful; careful; thoughtful); “tending to,” “able to” (wakeful; harmful); “as much as will fill” (spoonful).
Sorrow, Hate & Pride Reveal Wounds or Idols
Are you sorrowful, hateful or prideful? The focus of your -ful reveals wounds that need tending or idols. Yes, I said idols. You can recognize idols by what you sacrifice to. It will be expressed through how you choose to spend your idle time and monies?
Do you try to drown your sorrows through the abuse of alcohol, drugs or sex? Are you so consumed with hatred for others that your idle time is spent fantasizing or preparing to hurt or payback others? Or, is your idle time consumed with your ego, your image, or your pleasure to the detriment of others whom you have responsibility for or owe respect to?
Temporal verses Eternal
The focus on pride, hate or sorrow all deal with temporal situations and that my friends is pitiful. The opposite of these things is being thankful and grateful which are intertwined ...
The Key is to Praise God!
Psalms 42:5 is written by one who was sorrowful. It says it this way:
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance...”
The English word translated countenance comes from the Hebrew word that is most frequently translated presence. We find everything we need in God’s presence. There is fullness of joy, vindication, provision and protection.
Our temporary situations can seem so impossible and weighty. The more we focus on the problem the heavier the problem gets. They key to lifting your weight is PRAISE! Isaiah 61:3 says:
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
If you are struggling and feeling sorrowful, hateful or prideful this Thanksgiving then I encourage you to consider, these are signs that you are focusing on the temporal. To turn your sorrow into joy and your hate into love you've got to turn your attention to the eternal.
Focus on the Eternal to Add -ful to Thanks, Gratitude and Joy
1 Corinthians 13:9 says "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
1 John 4:8-9 tells us that, "God is love, In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him."
Jesus paid the price we could not pay that we might know the love of God that passes all understanding. He paid the price that we might have eternal life. He delivers us from death hell and the grave. His sacrifice not only deals with eternal life but also empowers us to bring to bear His eternal power into our temporal circumstances that we might have life and have that more abundantly. It just requires us to exercise "hope and faith."
As I focus on His amazing love and that love that is shed abroad through so many others, I find a lot to be thankful and grateful for. Thanks, gratitude and joy are three legs which build my chair to be seated next to Christ which is described in Ephesians.
Ephesians 1:20-2:6 describes how we've been seated with Christ in heavenly places and that our "fullness" comes from Him. Christ is eternal. As we focus on Him, we'll find the real key to being:
Brenda and I pray that you would have a very blessed Thanksgiving.