Gifts: What He’s Given
Looking ahead to what He has promised can help us. It can center us on the good to come, no matter the bleakness that sometimes darkens our hearts or fills our days. But we don’t have to look ahead.
Good things are all around you right now!
What He’s already given us is more than what He’s promised to give in the future.
Consider, for instance, the gift of grace, which Paul said “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9). This grace is already yours in Christ. You are already a new creation because of it, able to live a better life and make better choices than you’ve ever made before.
Consider the gift of hope. When Paul wrote to the Romans, he said we could, “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;” (Romans 12:12). This reason to rejoice is not yours to come. It’s yours now. It’s why you can open your eyes right now — on this day — with a smile on your face and joy in your heart.
Consider what Paul described as “the greatest” gift of all, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (1 Corinthians 13:13). If God’s love is already — and always — for us, what other gifts could we possibly need?
When packing your bags for a vacation, you’re likely to include a camera, or at least, you’re sure to pack a phone. This is because you anticipate seeing something worth capturing, something worth turning into memory because of its uniqueness or beauty or both.
What if we approached every day this way?
But, instead of with a camera, what if we approached each day with a focused heart? What if we adjusted our lens so we could see the gifts God has placed all around us — little and big, invisible and visible, spiritual and physical, recurring and unique to today?
We have countless reasons to be thankful — but do start counting! Open your eyes to all He has given and give thanks.
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; — Ephesians 1:7
Grace — it’s the best gift we have and maybe the hardest gift to understand because it’s so unlike anything else. It never wears out. It never quits working. It’s ours, even though we don’t deserve it. It’s ours, even when we forget we have it. It’s the ultimate reason to be grateful.
Describe “God’s rich grace.” What is it? What has it done for you? What does it continue to do?
Is God’s rich grace a gift you can share with others? How?
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. — 1 Corinthians 13:13
Hope is fuel. It’s what keeps us going when the days are hard. It’s what keeps us believing when valleys are long. It’s why we get back up, pushing on in faith, expecting better days to come. And they will. Because our hope is anchored in the One whom hard days and long valleys can’t touch:
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. — 1 Corinthians 15:19
The book of Hebrews talks about all the “better” things Christ brings to life — both here and in heaven. How has Christ already made your life better?
What’s something in your life that you hope is made better in the future?
We don’t know how some things will turn out, but we do know about others. What do you hope for that’s “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;” the promised to come about in Jesus (Hebrews 6:19)?
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. — 1 Corinthians 13:13
Hope is fuel to carry us to tomorrow; love is a gift to carry us through today. Whatever we’re facing, whatever we wish we had or wish we didn’t have, whatever trouble or pain comes today, love comes too. It’s higher, wider, and deeper than any other thing.
And it’s here to stay. This is how Paul describes it in, (Romans 8:38–39). For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Why do you think Paul said love is “the greatest” in 1 Corinthians 13:13?
What are you facing today that’s troubling you? Write about it, and then on top of what you’ve written, around and all over it, write the words “I am loved.”