Gratitude and Hope Are Always En Vogue

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Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,

who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.  James 1:17-18

Heavenly Father, I woke up today a grateful man, and I want to live this way all day long. Here are a few of your gifts for which I’m particularly grateful this morning.

First and foremost, I praise you for being, as James writes, the “changeless Father.” We cannot predict, manage, or presume on the outworking of your will; but we can totally trust you to be faithful and kind, sovereign and ever-so-loving. The very fact that we get to call you Father is over-the-top-glorious.

And I adore you for the gospel of your grace—by which you’ve hidden our lives in Jesus and declared us righteous in your sight. You’ve adopted us as your beloved children, and have secured a future for us beyond our wildest imaginations. Thank you!

And I’m also thankful for the multiple, creative, spontaneous gifts you bestow of us as your daughters and sons. Today, for me, these include a just-completed retreat in your magnificent Montana. Though few trout were caught, deep friendships were forged, the gospel was cherished, longings were owned, laughter was loud, and encouragement was abundant. Thank you, many times over, Father.

I’m also grateful for fresh reminders that your name is Redeemer. Old hurts can become a garden of grace, and light seeps in through our broken places. By simply showing up, listening, and staying present, you use us in each other’s lives in extraordinary ways.

Thank you for your commitment to bring to completion your good work in each of us, Father, and in every square inch of your universe. Hope is the order of this, and every day. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ most glorious and grace-full name.

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