Mercy and Gratitude in the Messiness of Life

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thess. 5:18

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. Isa. 41:10 (ESV)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Rom. 8:28 (NIV)

Heavenly Father, there are some days when it is critical to remember you call us to offer thanks in, not for, all circumstances. The gospel isn’t about magic-thinking or make-believe-living, spiritual anesthesia or circumstantial amnesia. In fact, the gospel is the only place in the universe where we don’t have to pretend about anything. That’s one of the many reasons we love you, and are grateful to be your children.

Father, strengthen, help, and uphold us with your righteous right hand, in stories that are recipes for discouragement, if not dismay.

For those of us weighed down by some combination of the evening news, financial pressures, vocational issues, and relational heartache—grant us grace, and a vision of the occupied throne of heaven.

For missional healthcare workers having more friends to serve than hours in the day and supplies in the backpack—grant joy, and increase their supplies like Jesus multiplied fish and bread.

For those hearing the condemning whispers of Satan louder than the consoling voice of Jesus—grant us grace, and fresh assurance that nothing can separate us from your love. Make this so very real: Jesus plus nothing is our righteousness, period.

For pastors swimming in a little pool of criticism-piranha, with congregants leaving them for the newest “church-of-the-New-Buzz”—Father, grant them supernatural encouragement, thick skin, and big hearts.

Father, you have called us—you have subpoenaed us to an eternal life of intimacy with yourself. You want us, have us, and love us. Hallelujah, now and forever we are yours.  Thank you, big time. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ merciful and mighty name.