LENT: GRATEFUL

Today, during our 40-days of Lent study, I️ am going to challenge you. What are you grateful for? Nowadays, it would be easy to sit-back, point-fingers, mumble and complain. When the going gets tough, we tend to get gripey. Our earth-bound, fleshy nature clings to the cup half-empty point of view.

Expressing gratitude in Scripture comes in the form of praise and worship. And surprisingly, worship wins wars. Remember the battle of Jericho when the walls come tumbling down?

The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for forty years, eating manna as their daily bread. All the while, waiting and longing to possess the Promised Land. The generation that fled from Egypt died off and now it was time for the next generation to inherit the land that God had promised. Previously, Joshua and Caleb spied out the land and reported back, “The men are big, but God is bigger.” The floodwaters of the Jordan River were pulled back by the mighty hand of God, and once again, the Israelites crossed over on dry land. Victory seems inevitable, until…

The Walls of Jericho are Beheld

From worldly eyes, the battle looks impossible, “Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred” (Joshua 6:1)…it looks like there is no way that the Israelites will win. We tend to view our problems as insurmountable. Have you ever said, “I️ am in way over my head?

God’s ways are never our ways. He pushes us to look beyond our circumstances. He does things in such a way to confound the wise and keep us humbly walking in obedience.

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.” Joshua 6:2-5

The band led the siege of the city, and the walls of Jericho end up falling. Maybe it’s time we follow this example in our own lives and allow God to be lifted high. How can you begin gratefully living?

Walls Tumble When We Worship

Throughout Scripture we see other examples of worship winning battles. In 2 Chronicles 20 (It’s a great read, I highly suggest taking the time!), King Jehoshaphat fights his battle with singing. Paul and Silas sing praises in the jail cell (Acts 16) in Phillipi and an earthquake flings open the prison door. As a result, a jailer and his entire household are saved. Throughout the Psalms, King David fights the battle of a downcast spirit by showing gratitude to a sovereign God.

We Fight Our Battles By Following God’s Lead

Amid turmoil, what are you grateful for? Can you name 10 things? A surplus of toilet paper…I’ll let you reply.

“Give thanks to the Lord,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.”

-From the Choir of King Jehosaphat in 2 Chron. 20:21

Dear Heavenly Father, You and You alone sit high on the throne room. You deserve our praise and worship. You turn our downcast spirits to singing, and today we will worship You with our heart, soul, and mind. Amen