And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work. 2 Cor 9:8
I have been listening to Dr. Tony Evans for probably a month straight, if not longer. Every sermon and book I’ve listened to has been ministering to something I have experienced or been going through. But yesterday I got a major key, if not thee major key, to my breakthrough. His scriptures came from the familiar passage of 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. We all know these words and the gist of the passage: that Paul had cried out to God in prayer 3 separate times to remove this thorn he had been battling for some time. God responded no but in the manner of saying that His grace was sufficient to keep Paul in spite of the thorn. Paul then went on to say he would boast in his weaknesses at that revelation from God.
I always asked why would anyone want to boast about their weaknesses. Why would you want to brag about that thing that you have perceived to be the anchor to a desolate place or situation? Why would you want to boast about this thing that made you feel less than or inadequate?
This passage broke wide open another level of the necessity of gratitude. I am guilty of complaining. Complaining a lot. I begged God and pleaded with Him for years about things I identified as the thorns in my life. And you can probably already guess that God never changed them but instead, changed me. I began to pray differently this year though, repenting as God brought to mind deeds and things I did that were not pleasing in His sight. Yesterday was no different.
It dawned on me in a major way how God has blessed me in spite of these thorns. God allowed me to have a relatively healthy, uneventful pregnancy last year in spite of being a transplant recipient. In fact, my kidney function was the best it has ever been since I became aware of my impaired kidney function back in 2006. God blessed me to deliver a healthy baby boy in spite of my kidney and other health problems. God blessed me to receive a scholarship for law school in spite of my having transferred many times now. God blessed me with many amazing friends that were my rocks in spite of the relational heartache I experienced at the hands of my son’s father and my family. God blessed me to truly experience His love through others in spite of being single. Even now, God is blessing me with my healing journey and enjoying my single season this time around in spite of not being married yet.
You can look at your life and truly see that you too have "in spite of" blessings. God has blessed you and promoted you in ways you probably haven’t considered mainly because the hurt of looking at what you perceive as your lack has clouded your vision. That revelation I got yesterday shifted my perspective to see and embrace yet another reason to be grateful. And here’s the kicker: as the saying goes, when the praises go up, the blessings come down. If you shift from a focus on lack to a focus on the abundance you have in God, your perspective will change. One thing I noticed in my practice of gratefulness was that the more I thanked God and acknowledged my blessings, the more I had to be grateful for. It is like the phenomenon that happens when you get a new car, you start seeing more like it. Likewise, when you focus on the reasons you can thank and praise God, you will recognize and experience more.
I know, this is easier said than done. Complaining is a hard habit to break, especially when you have been crying out to God about something without an answer from Him on it. But choose today to trust God to enlarge your ability to see all your blessings instead and choose to magnify those in glorifying God. See won’t things change!