Although news of hate, violence, and tragedy is coming from around the world, we should not shy away from gratefulness; we should actually move toward it. One of the best examples of this comes from 1863, when the news of the day was also filled with hate and violence. The Civil War was tearing the nation in half—yet that didn’t stop America’s leader, President Abraham Lincoln, from recognizing the need to be grateful for all God had given them. He made a proclamation that led to the eventual establishment of our national Thanksgiving holiday.
Take a look at one of the statements made in the middle of that proclamation.
In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.
Thankfulness is supposed to be a part of our lives, no matter the circumstance. President Lincoln understood that. He noted the “unequaled magnitude” of the civil war they were in, but did not keep his focus there. He moved his audience’s attention to what they could be thankful for.
The Bible is filled with direction to be thankful—and President Lincoln understood what we see in the Word: a heart of gratitude starts with a matter of your focus. Read More…
An emotional wound needs time to heal—but that wound will not heal if you continually rip it open through remembering how horrible the other person treated you. A man by the name of David Ridge put it this way, “True forgiveness is not an action after the fact; it is an attitude with which you enter each moment.”
The mention of this city conjures up much emotion right now—everything from heartbreak for the families who have lost a loved one to anger at the evil that triggered the tragedies. No words can describe how we should react to a situation like this. The instinct to #prayforParis as many have had is good. God truly is the only answer for a situation like this. He knows how to comfort hearts, restore families, and heal bodies.
Now, there is something you can do beyond praying for those affected by this act of terrorism: Don’t be afraid. Fear is exactly the response terrorists want. Instead, remember that God has prepared a place of peace for those who abide in His “secret place.” Take a look:
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Read More…