When I first read John’s prophet posts, my initial reaction was, “Thank you, Jesus, that I am not a prophet!” There is a terrible accountability with that kind of authority and responsibility. My next thought was, “What is with those people who so delight in destruction and comeuppance?” And God answered me with, “Those people? How about you?” That one left a mark, for sure!
I have “prophesied” doom and defeat with great delight over any number of people—political enemies, entertainers that I don’t like, companies who’ve wronged me, and entire nation-states that vex me. That I haven’t as big an audience as some hardly lessens my sin! So I began to repent, and as I did, I remembered Martha’s post, “The Rarest Gift,” and that wonderful and maddening scripture, “Thank God in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks]…”
It is a strange thing indeed to thank God for my own wretchedness. It feels so wrong! “Thank you, Lord, for my self-righteous pomposity and vengeful temperament.” That sounds crazy to say out loud, and it looks even crazier when it’s written out. Nonetheless, “thank God in everything” covers my blessings, my hardships, my sufferings, and ME.
I purposed to thank God for the absolute worst that I’ve done and am, and strangely enough, things are happening. Light is coming into my heart, long-closed doors are opening, and God is moving in my life as He hasn’t for many a month now. And all because I began to thank Him for some of my very specific sins and failures and shames.
I’ve talked about it before, but Martha’s series, The Healing Power of Giving Thanks, is perfectly named. There is enormous healing in thanking God, even if my emotions are seemingly at odds with that gratitude. I didn’t feel happy or peaceful or even at all grateful when I thanked God for the constant humiliation of my unearned arrogance, but my feelings don’t dictate my free will. I chose to thank Him, and He is moving on that.
If Romans 1 illuminates the descending path to hell, it also offers the means to change direction: honor God as GOD, and give Him thanks.
He who brings an offering of praise and thanksgiving honors and glorifies Me;
and he who orders his way aright [who prepares the way that I may show him],
to him I will demonstrate the salvation of God.
Psalm 50:23 AMP