Lutheran Home Association Blog

Look at what God continues to do in your life!

Posted on Tue, May 28, 2019

He provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” (Acts 14:17b) 

son-2935723_1920When was the last time you stopped to do an inventory of what God has done and is doing in your life? 

It is so easy to complain about what we don’t have or look with jealousy at what others have, but it takes some real perspective to honestly look at how we have been blessed and realize how richly we have been blessed.

It is interesting to understand what led Paul to speak these words originally. Paul and Barnabas were at the ancient city of Iconium and were trying to get people to understand who the true God is and what he does.  In such a situation it doesn’t always work at first to point to God giving his Son to die for our sins.  Paul appeals to something which everyone can understand and relate to – our daily physical needs.  Paul points the food and happiness which the people he is speaking to enjoy and tells them that these along with so many other blessings are small indications of what the true God does in their lives day in and day out without them even asking or realizing.

So when is your Iconium moment going to occur?  When or because of what will you step back and realize that you have blessings in bountiful abundance?  This is something which we often do once a year at Thanksgiving, but it is really something we should do every day, if not every moment of our lives.

Paul speaks of how God gives us plenty of food, but it could just as well be clothing or other physical blessings which we have in abundance all around us. 

Maybe as you read the second part of our verse for this week it causes you to stop and think about what “fills your hearts with joy”.  This does not mean that your heart is or will be filled with never ending joy.  But stop for a moment and think about the blessings which God gives you which give you moments of joy – family, friends, personal accomplishments and so much more.  I ask you to seriously consider and realize those things which God gives you over and above your physical blessings to give you joy along the way on your journey through this sinful world to heaven.

So often when people sit back and do such an evaluation, there is a temptation to only or primarily look at the physical. Let’s not forget the overriding importance of God’s spiritual blessings to us – faith, forgiveness and a future in heaven.  Understanding that we have those blessings, even though we don’t deserve them, will sustain and support us when we don’t or can’t clearly see the joy or the physical blessings.

When we pause to look at the complete and bigger picture, we can see why Paul takes the approach he does to help the people at Iconium start to see the presence and work of the true God.  May this reminder help us to each day look at what God continues to do in your life.  We truly are blessed with plenty!

Posted by Joel Gaertner

Rev. Joel Gaertner is The Lutheran Home Association Vice President of Ministry and National Director of Jesus Cares Ministries (JCM). He provides spiritual guidance to our entire organization and develops and guides JCM programs in congregations. Pastor Gaertner and his wife, LuAnn, live in Cudahy, Wis., and have two adult children. Outside work, he enjoys golf, walking and watching just about any sporting event, especially the Green Bay Packers.

Tags: Christian Life