Thank You: How I’m Moving Forward With Greater Hope

Can I honestly find it in my heart, to thank God in all seasons?  This is the question I’ve been thinking about this week.  How about in the midst of our current cultural shifts?

Yes, after feeling a range of emotions over the past weeks, I believe so.  And I believe it’s our best way forward.

Rejoice always.  Pray without ceasing.

IN EVERYTHING, GIVE THANKS.  For THIS is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Thankfulness prepares our hearts to receive what God is doing, even in unexpected or less-than-desirable circumstances.  Thankfulness puts our eyes back on the ONE from whom our help comes and it places things in a right perspective.  The perspective that God is God, and we are not.  And that we are here not to be comfortable but to be commissioned into this world to love, serve and witness of His redeeming power.

So today, I say “Thank you, God”.  Thank You for using the recent cultural shifts as our alarm clock.

Instead of being afraid or alarmed at the of changing culture, I’m thankful, with a sense of excitement in my spirit.  I choose to see this shift in culture as a gracious wake-up call to the Church, to be the Church.  Because we were made for more than mediocre.  We were made for more than blending in or barely surviving.

I believe we’re stepping into a new season in which we will shine more brightly than before as we seek to authentically love God with our whole selves and love others.  A season where we will thrive and grow as we purpose in our hearts to seek the face of God, to be healed by Jesus and filled with His joy in all circumstances.  A season in which we will experience renewal and revival as we move forward with hope as the Church, the eternal bride of Christ.  (see this post by Beth Moore for a mighty dose of encouragement on this front.)

Specifically, I see this season as a time to be thankful for a wake-up call to repentance and renewal.

THANK YOU GOD, for the wake-up call to REPENT.

Thank You, God, for the kick in the pants to yank the plank out of our own eye.  To get serious about our own sin.  Thank You for the chance to say we are sorry for our silence on marriage and sexuality. 

I’m thankful for the gift of seeing our own shortcomings and begin able to come to Your feet and trust You for wholeness where we are broken.

THANK YOU GOD, for the wake-up call to RENEW.

“There will be no renewal of the church and of the world without a renewal of marriage and the family.  And there will be no renewal of marriage and the family without a full return to the full truth of God’s plan for the body and sexuality.”  (Christopher West, An Introduction to the Theology of the Body, p. 123)

If the Biblical sexual ethic really is as good, worthy and valuable as we say it is, we should be the people thriving with life and health in our relationships.

And if we are not thriving, there’s no condemnation.  Just invitation.

An invitation to more.

God created our sexuality as a signpost to point us to our heavenly destiny: to be one with Him forever. And as we become clear about this in our hearts, minds and life choices, we will see renewal.

 

 

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If you’re looking for biblical teaching on how to think well in these days, here is a link to my pastor’s sermon, Dr. Jim Baucom, from the Sunday after the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage.  It’s worthy of your time, and note-taking.  He teaches with depth, humility, clarity and compassion.