God “bent low and breathed His life into the dust of our lungs, since He kissed us into being,” He has never planned our ruins. On the contrary, He said “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
He affirms that “His secret purpose framed from the very beginning to bring us to our full glory.” (1 Corinthians 2:7 NEB)
From the very beginning, He means for us to rule and reign with Him. He means for us to have a full life. He means for us be more than conquerors. He means to heal our souls. He means for us to have joy.
“And yet since we took a bite out of the fruit and tore into our own souls,” there’s a hole in each of our souls where our joy seeps away daily. But God wants to fill that hole again and makes us whole again. His secret purpose is to bring us to full glory.
Grace, the unmerited favor of God, is what He offers. A free and ready favor. He offers it freely. It is up to us to accept that grace offered at the cross. Choose to open our hearts and hands and say yes to what He freely gives and live fully under His grace? Each of us has to make that choice. To not make a choice is still a choice; the choice not to accept.
And to accept that grace is to show gratitude and thanksgiving.
“As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible… The holy grail of joy is not in some exotic location …” but it’s in the simple act of thanksgiving and gratitude.