Attitude of Gratitude

“The struggle is real.” 

A powerful statement to attest for the trials in life that are too real to make imaginary.

Prior to my journey with Christ, my trials were real but they were not unmanageable. A bill due.. A friend in trouble.. Issues in my relationship.. All of these are common occurrences in the average person’s life. However, when I turned the corner for the Lord and began to apply the living word to my life, different tests began to ensue.

Jeremiah 29:11 assures that the Lord has plans for us, plans to prosper us and not harm us, Plans to give us hope and a future. 

Many days it was hard to agree with this scripture when I could barely see the importance of my life. Here I am doing my best not to sin and I receive, what feels like, the short end of the stick. “What kind of prosperous future is this,” I would think. There is no true career path in site. I have goals and aspirations but they are clearly too far out of reach.

“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding,” (Prov 3:5).

Once I allowed this scripture to become relative to my life, Peter’s words seemed to leap off the page at me.

“Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you,” (1 Peter 4:12).

My car broke down on the highway and I had no tools or money to get it fixed immediately. Of course, I had to get to work, church and other obligations that evening and the following days. Initially, worry rushed in taunting me with lack. “How could I get to work? Who would take me? Do I have enough cash for bus fare?” Each of these worries could have caused me to think the worst of the situation. But Peter’s words arose yet again, “do not be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through…”

Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be great. If you had the time, I would tell you about the countless dreams I’ve had of standing on stage speaking to thousands of people about life, liberty, and faith. Ironic, isn’t it? The very areas I wish to be a vessel, are the exact areas that I am being tested. 

“...as if something strange were happening to you.”

I say all of this to show you why I am thankful for the word of God and why I am thankful for accountability partners. It is imperative to have someone in your corner who can look at you and your circumstances and raise you out of your funk. Someone who isn’t afraid to be frank in your times of denial and frustration. Trust me, if I didn’t have a sister who was a coined truth junkie, I would still think that I could not be successful. Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17).

I am a Distributor for It Works!, an Employment Consultant, a Massage Therapist and a worshiper of The Most High God. Of course, I have encountered days where I felt that the world was truly against me. Of course, I have had moments where my goals did not reflect the amount in my bank account. Obviously, adversity has met me face-to-face at the most inopportune times. That is life at it’s best.

Everything works together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). And the more I take my hands off of the reigns and really apply the word of God to my life, the more I am thankful for this roadmap that leads me through and through.

For this week of gratitude, I can firmly say, “Lord, I thank you for the tests and tribulations that are making me stronger and stronger each day.”

Be Blessed My Friends

Ari J

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