There are three things God wants us to always be. God wants us to be fruitful, grateful and hopeful all the time. Let us look at them more closely as we approach the end of the year.
1. God wants us to be Fruitful all the time. He wants us to be useful, helpful and productive. We are paid for our value not for our needs. Today's activities guarantee tomorrow's results. Today's productivity guarantees tomorrow's comfort. Fruitful people are good thinkers. Fruitful people are finishers- they carry out the vision. They never rest until they get to the goal. They accept no excuse for failure. Fruitful people solve problems. They are never intimidated by challenges.
2. God wants us to be Thankful always. He wants us to be joyful, grateful, appreciative (to appreciate means to add value to). He wants us to be appreciative for: (a) the past; for all his goodness, kindness and mercy. (b) The present and (c) for the glorious future he has planned for us.
Thankless people shut the door to future assistance. You can only enjoy the virtues of what you value.
I have discovered that only people who give help understand the need for thanksgiving. Generous people know what it is to be appreciated for an act of kindness. Selfish people don't know what it means to give and certainly don't understand what appreciation means to anyone else.
3. God wants us to always be Hopeful. A hopeful person never gets depressed. He or she never runs out of energy; never runs out of ideas; never runs out of help; never quits; never gets defeated; hardly fails and never comes to shame. The bible says hope maketh not ashamed (Rom 5:5).
The woman with the issue of blood was a hopeful person. Whatever destroys your hope is not your friend. A good counsellor is one who discusses your problems but leaves you with hope. A good friend will always help you to see the brighter side of things. A good correction points out where you went wrong but more importantly leaves you with a way out.
Most people are not hopeful because:
a) They lack vision. Christ knew the joy set before Him. Vision is defining your destination and until you define, you cannot find. The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight but has no vision. "Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is like a broken-winged bird that cannot fly."--Langston Hughes
b) They have no plans and the reason they have no plans is because they have no goals. Fruitful people are good thinkers. "People with goals succeed because they know where they're going" -- Earl Nightingale, Motivational Speaker
c) They lack conviction. "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." -- Eleanor Roosevelt, Former First Lady . Success comes down to sacrifice-willingness to pay the price. Sacrifice is doing what you don't want to do to become what you always wanted to be. And sacrifice is possible only where there is a strong conviction that your cause is worth sacrificing for. In the Bible, hope is not a passion for the possible. It is a passion for the promise."
d) They are not fully aware of their potential.
e) They compare themselves with others better than they and feel inferior. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. "People never improve unless they look to some standard or example higher and better than themselves. " -- Tyron Edwards, American Theologian
f) Because of past or recent failure. Most champions never got it right the first time. Behind every glory there is a story. Champions keep playing until they get it right.
Clare Boothe Luce said, "There are no hopeless situations; there are only people who have grown hopeless about them.
WHY GIVE THANKS?
Always Had an Uplifting Prayer and a reason to thank God
Scottish minister Alexander Whyte was known for his uplifting prayers in the pulpit. He always found something for which to be grateful. One Sunday morning the weather was so gloomy that one church member thought to himself, "Certainly the preacher won't think of anything for which to thank the Lord on a wretched day like this." Much to his surprise, however, Whyte began by praying, "We thank Thee, O God that it is not always like this."
1. God deserves my thanksgiving: I deserve nothing. People murmur when they feel they deserve compensation for their contribution - may be they have fasted or prayed or kept away from obvious sins. We deserve nothing! It is of His mercy we are not consumed. His compassion fails not.
He was there to help me when no one else thought I deserved it. He forgave me when everyone else thought I deserved to pay for my sins. He believed in me when no one else did. He came to help me when I had nothing to attract anyone to me. When you are successful you don't find it difficult to get help even when you don't need it or ask for it. The higher you go, the easier you get doors opening for you. You've just got to go higher! He tells me what I need to hear not what I want to hear. He corrects me while giving me a chance to improve. He believes in me even when I have failed. Others will help you from a distance, but God is there real close especially when you need Him the most and no one else cares. He saved me, healed me and keeps me in good health. He has delivered me from the plans of all those that hate me. He has provided for me at critical times when everywhere looked dry.
2. It is right. Gratitude is a right attitude that can move you to the correct altitude.
3. All things work together for our good. Remember the boy who was kidnapped came back after ten years and found out that his entire village had been wiped out by an epidemic.
4. Things change. What looks very bad now can change the next moment. Things change for those expect them to.
Rev (Dr) Olowojoba is Snr. Pastor of Dayspring Bible Church, Sabon-Lugbe, Abuja & President, Dayspring Christian Ministries Int'l. e.mail: