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The Language of Appreciation

 |  by Victoria Osteen

Tuesday, February 5, 2019
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In Deuteronomy 10–12, God was taking the children of Israel into the Promised Land and describing all the wonderful gifts and abundance He was freely giving them. He said, "I'm giving you houses filled with great treasure so you can live in them. I'm giving you vineyards you didn't plant and fields you didn't plow so you can work them and enjoy the produce." But then He warned them, "I'm giving you all these things, but don't take them for granted. Don't forget who gave it to you. Honor Me in it."

I think God is saying the same thing to us today. He's given us a great country to live in. He's given us family and friends, houses and places to work and worship. We have running water, electricity, stores of all kinds—whatever we need is basically at our fingertips. But then we start to take things for granted and forget to be grateful. We face challenges at our jobs and in our homes. Things go wrong, and we start to complain, "Oh, no, I have to go to work. Then I have to pick up the kids and make dinner and clean up the mess." We have to learn the language of appreciation. Gratitude says, "Thank You, Father, that I get to go to work because I have a job. I'm so blessed to have my children and can't wait to pick them up. I have my own house that I get to clean." That's the language of appreciation.

We all should discover and remember the gold in our life through appreciation. When you're appreciative, and you look for the value in something, what you're doing is adding to your life. Yes, we're going to face challenges. Things aren't going to be easy. But when we look for the lessons in what we're experiencing, when we begin to look for what can build our character, when we see the treasure in the people we love, that's when we're going to find the value and the purpose.

When we appreciate God, and we appreciate the things God has given us, we honor Him. Appreciation is a language we need to learn, and gratitude honors God. That's why, wherever you are today, no matter how difficult it is, ask God to show you, "Where's the value in this, God? This is something You've brought to me, so how can I appreciate it?" Happy people are the ones who can be appreciative of what they have right now on the way to where they're going.

Live in a State of Contentment

 |  by Victoria Osteen

Tuesday, February 12, 2019
comments: 0

Have you ever felt restless? Maybe you feel anxious right now but can't put your finger on why. I think we've all experienced it, not realizing this feeling can come from the fact that we're not content with our life. We think we're missing something, so we begin to search for it. Maybe it's from a lack of fulfillment at work or happiness in a relationship or satisfaction at home. Unfortunately, a lot of times we look in all the wrong places for something to fill our empty spaces. Some people look to food while others look to alcohol or drugs. Some try to find meaning and purpose through other people's lives on social media.

The problem is that none of those things can fill our empty spaces because it's actually a longing to find contentment. We think, "When I get my promotion…a new house…more money…when I fall in love, I'll be happy. I'll be successful." But the line of happiness and success is always moving. If you're chasing success or happiness, you're never going to catch it because you can never have enough of it, and you'll exhaust yourself forever chasing it. The only source that can fill that space is Jesus living inside us. But we're so used to trying to find our own sources that we forget that He is the source of our strength, the source of our meaning and purpose. Don't run after something else to fill the empty spaces in your life that only Jesus can fill.

When you're feeling anxious, restless and discontent, I encourage you to meditate on these words from the apostle Paul: "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Christ who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:12–13). He learned the profound secret that contentment in his relationship with Christ is a powerful state of mind. He learned that because Christ was living in him, he could do all things with Christ strengthening him. In Christ, even in the prison from where he was writing, Paul was content and full of joy.

Contentment is defined as a "state of peaceful happiness," an attitude that has nothing to do with where you are or what you have. Proverbs 15:15 says, "For the happy heart, life is a continual feast." Can I encourage you to feast on the fact that God is for you, not against you. Because you're full of Christ Jesus, He's helping you through whatever you're going through. It's the "I can through Him" that's going to give you the strength to do it!

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