Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thankful...

I thought it would be appropriate to write a blog on Thanksgiving, especially in light of the fact that I am not in the USA to celebrate it this year. Obviously, thanksgiving is not holiday or even a day here in Zambia, but a command for every circumstance of every day of every minute of every year. As 1 Thes. 5:18 says, "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." The key word is all. There are no circumstances that happen to us that are not included in that little word, all. Whether good or bad or odd or disjointed or confusing, we are commanded to be thankful in all circumstances. Now, couple that with this verse from the book of James 1:16-17 - "Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." In this verse we learn that all gifts are from God. So in every circumstance and in every gift, our response should be that of gratitude to the giver of all things. Now, what happens if we are not thankful? Paul speaks to that as well in Romans 1:21 - "For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened." When we do not obey these commands of scripture, both our thinking and our hearts are affected. Our minds begin to think futile, useless thoughts and our hearts become darkened. So, if you take the opposite you will find that when we turn our circumstances and our gifts in thankfulness to God, our minds are useful and purposeful and our hearts are wise and full of light. Thankfulness truly is a command that is given to us for our own good. One of the things that I have learned most about thankfulness this year is the partnership it forms with contentment. When I am content, I am thankful, but it takes thankfulness to be content. So they form a both/and relationship where we can't have one without the other. When we live contented lives, we are free to live and love and give... May this Thanksgiving season be one that leads us into a special, spiritual contentment that changes our Christmas season.


No comments: