There are going to be days when we just don't feel like being thankful. We wake up and don't seem able to praise. We know we should "rejoice in the Lord always" (Philippians 4:4), and we're trying to learn "the secret of being content in any and every situation" (Philippians 4:12). We want to believe that "in all things God works for the good of those who love Him" (Romans 8:28). But sometimes it's just difficult.

There are many reasons for days like this. We sometimes may lose the eternal perspective of our life and our surroundings. We take our eyes off Jesus and begin to look at the gathering storm (Matthew 14:30). We may become entangled in the weeds and get choked by "the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth" (Matthew 13:22). Or we may simply become tired and weary.

Days like this are to be expected. Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble" (John 16:33a), and our trouble will sometimes strain our relationship with God. But even in the midst of our trouble we are all being "transformed into His image" (2 Corinthians 3:18). When we place our life in His hands, He begins the process of transformation - a process which WILL continue; "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion" (Philippians 1:6). Even though we may sometimes struggle and find ourselves in a dry desert, we are still progressing from what we once were to what we will yet become. God will use these difficult seasons to mold our heart if we will simply continue to trust, love, and praise.

We ought to remember that Jesus also said of our troubles; "But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33b). We must continue to grow in our relationship with God until He is so near that we truly see how He has overcome; and praise Him all day and every day. He desires our praise, and He is, without a doubt, deserving of our praise!

Psalms 113:3
"From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised."

The Psalm writer is stating a simple fact: The Lord IS to be praised! Jesus affirmed this truth when He was riding into Jerusalem and made it clear that He will receive praise with or without our participation. Crowds had begun to praise Him and some of the religious leaders told Jesus to make them stop. But Jesus responded; "I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out" (Luke 19:40). Either we offer up our praise to the Creator of the Universe, or the rocks will begin to sing!

No matter what our situation is today, let's remember He is worthy of our praise! He has picked us up, cleaned us off, and adopted us into His Family. It is sad, and a terrible shame, but we often forget how many reasons we have for being thankful. Let's rise up and use this and every other moment of the day to rejoice with thanksgiving in our heart. Let's not miss another opportunity to praise.

Have a Christ Centered Day!

Steve Troxel
God's Daily Word Ministries

**** Reading Plan ****

May 15 1 Samuel 17:1-18:4; John 8:21-30; Psalms 111:1-10; Proverbs 15:11

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