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Pastor Jim Penner says: ‘I’ll never forget…as an eight-year-old sitting on the step when my mother opened the door to two men who handed her some papers…As tears rolled down [her] cheeks it didn’t take me long to figure out what happened.
Money was tight…the bank hadn’t been paid and…our car was repossessed. I also carry with me another image I cherish to this day of my mother praying in her room. In the face of fear two words came through…“Thank You! Thank You!” I thought, “Thank you? You just lost your car; we have no money; what’s going to happen to us?” Her prayer continued, “Thank You, God, for what You’ve provided…and that we have something to eat tonight”…So it went…fifteen minutes, maybe more.
Looking back, I gained a lifetime of wisdom in those precious minutes. My mother taught me an attitude of gratefulness in the midst of adversity that I’ll never forget…The tough times didn’t end overnight…but in the years to come God blessed my mother for her steadfast faith.’ Gratitude isn’t a natural response to adversity; it’s a discipline you develop.
The psalmist said, ‘Forget not all his benefits’ (Psalm 103:2 KJV). In the midst of trouble, when you don’t think God has blessed you, sit down and recall His faithfulness and you’ll end up filled with joy. Habakkuk said, ‘Fig trees may not grow…there may be no grapes on the vines…no olives…no food growing in the fields…no sheep in the pens and no cattle in the barns. But I will still…rejoice in God my Saviour’ (Habakkuk 3:17-18 NCV). When you take time to give thanks for the blessings in your life, it will change your outlook and attitude.