"Look! Look everyone! Isn't that a wonderful place? You should go there! God wants you to. There are abundant blessings there! Go!"
They look at my life and wonder, "Have you ever been there?"
"Uh, I, well, it's far. It's high. It's deep. It's hard to get there. No, not really."
"What sort of place is it? Why is it so wonderful?"
I have seen the place from afar and so I answer confidently, "It's a place where we are grateful, even when all seems lost or dark. It's a place of peace, even in the midst of a storm. It's a place where we love and forgive even our enemies."
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. I Thessalonians 5:18
God's will for me is to give thanks in every thing...not just when things are wonderful and bright.
In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33
God wants me to be of good cheer in the midst of tribulation...
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28
What? Fear NOT them which kill the body? But...they scare me!
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?...But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:31,33
God has been calling me to go to that place - that far, high, deep, place.
Life has not been going my way. What I have asked for time and time again I have not received. Will I be grateful? I hear His voice "Come away with me, trust me."
Conflict arises on every side. Will I forgive? Again, His voice, "I forgave you while you were still my enemy. I want you to do the same."
Physical needs come up. I start to plan and scheme how I will meet those needs. "Will you be content with just Me? What if you don't get those "needs" met? I know what you need. Trust me."
I answer back. "But Lord, it's like you want me to live in a different world!"
"Yes, my child. It's my world. It's my kingdom."