The Secret of Hopeful Living
By: Shana Schutte
Last week, I received a delightful text message from a girlfriend: “A life of praise and thankfulness becomes a life filled with miracles.”
My friend wasn’t insinuating you can ultimately control your own life or receive what you want if you believe and have positive thoughts. Instead, she was sharing a profound, life-giving thought: praise and thankfulness open your eyes to see hope.
My beautiful friend, Maxine, was a grateful and God-praising woman who passed away from cancer in 2012. On the week before she ran away with Jesus, I visited her at her home. Because I had been living in Georgia and she was in Colorado, I hadn’t seen her for several months so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
As I entered her room, I was shocked by what I saw. Her body was withered and small, the effects of a disease that would not let her go. But her spirit was still vibrant. In her normal cheery voice, she patted the bed next to her and said, “Well, hello sweetheart! Sit.”
As we spoke, I told her I had always considered her a godly woman but that now, against the backdrop of cancer, her spirit was shining brightly and she was glorifying God. She replied. “I want to glorify Him. I do. I really do.” Then, as her eyes filled with tears she said, “You would not believe the blessings that have come to me during this time.”
Max’s mouth was always filled with praise and thankfulness and so she was never short on miracles. On the day of her funeral, one of her cousins said of her, “Maxine lived until the day she died.” Indeed, she did.
The real hope Max witnessed had everything to do with the condition of her heart because the condition of our hearts always affects what we see with our eyes. The spiritual always affects the natural.
In Ephesians 1:16, 19 Paul wrote, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know. . . his incomparably great power for us who believe.”
Isn’t this wonderful? Paul is saying you can know his incomparably great power toward you. And when you choose an attitude of praise and thankfulness, you will begin to notice God’s miracles in your life because the eyes of your heart will be enlightened. The landscape of your lives will open up so you can see His blessing with fresh spiritual eyes.
O Lord, open my lips, that my mouth may declare Your praise (Psalm 51:15).