Saturday, December 12, 2009

More on thankfulness

I know that Thanksgiving is long goneJ but I just had to share a bit more on the subject… I am remembering back on a conversation I had a few years ago…  I was speaking to a women about faith and God.  She asked me a question in such a way like someone who asks it hoping it isn't true, but afraid it is, "Do you really feel you must convert people?"   My wife walked up with dinner instructions and so the conversation was thankfully stopped.  I say thankfully because I wanted a night to wrestle with the question…  I wrestled, I thought, I prayed…  I met with her the next day and I started off by saying the word convert isn't even in the Bible. I then tried to share why I choose to share my faith.  They day before we talked about how much she loves creation, and how there is something out there, that it is too amazing to just be an accident.  So, I came back to that and said, "I see Creation and I thank the creator." She said, "I didn't say there was a creator."  The words of Romans 1:18-22 ran through my mind.  If creation to amazing to be just an accident but there is no creator, who do you thank? You don't thank anyone and your thoughts become futile and your heart becomes darkened.  Our lives depend on thankfulness.  So, anyway, from there the conversation stalled.   Until  later, she said something, and then instinctively said, "Thank God I didn't need to make that decision." She recognized the irony of her words and laughed, saying, "Listen to me, thank God… "  I said exactly, "who do you thank?"  That really is the question. If I could continue that conversation today, I would quote James 1:16-17 says, "16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights…" Don't be deceived into thinking that life is an accident, that there isn't a personal, loving, gracious Father who loves you, who created you and deserves our thanks for every breath, every heartbeat and every gift.   Every gift is from God. God is the giver of all gifts. In His goodness, sovereignty, joy and faithfulness, he blesses us with gift after gift.  Well, someone might say, "Well, I thank me.  I worked hard to get what I have or I thank my parents for their help or I thank…" But, think about your breath. What power do you have to breathe? Or make your heart pump? Or think thoughts? Raise your arm? Leg? Process?  Make decisions? See? Hear? Taste? Touch? Smell?  Everything you have is a gift.  From God.  So, say thank you to the rightful owner of all blessings and your mind will be the useful and your heart enlightened.  Let thankfulness remind you again and again that there is a God who loves you, cares about you and knows your greatest need.


 If God is  in control, and He is good, than you can be assured that in every situation you find yourself whether difficult or easy, happy or sad, frustrating or amazing, that our good God is in the situation working out His will for His glory.  Even though we may not fully understand all the situations we are in, God doesn't say oops.  There is no situation when He is not in control.  There are no accidents with God.   So, to every situation you will encounter,  there is one of two responses. You can either be thankful or you can be unthankful.  If you are thankful, even if you don't understand it or it doesn't make sense, you are by faith acknowledging your dependence on a God who is in control and your gratitude for a God that always is good.  But, if you are not thankful, what are you really saying?  You are saying that God is either not in control of your situation or that He is not good.  That is what thankfulness is so important.  If you say God is not in control, you are saying that you are. That is pride. If you are saying God is not good, than you are saying what, God is or can be bad.  That is a lie that will ruin your life. 


I challenge you with all the heart and passion that exists within me to revel in thankfulness to God for everything, bask in it for it will guard your heart from complaining, from discontent, from selfishness, and from pride.   Don't let common blessings steal your gratitude and wonder and awe from your life. Let thankfulness turn your eyes upward so that your soul is lifted Godward.


So a few thoughts to remember that thanksgiving is not a holiday. It should be a way of life.


"Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen." Revelation 7:12





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