Thessalonians 5:18...In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. KJV
We have reached this very special time of year when every church in America will ask it's members to take time to reflect on just about everything. It is a time of year when our country will take time to just say "thank you" because no matter how unhappy we may be about whatever has us troubled, the truth is we have so very much to be thankful for.
Some people would have you believing the United States of America is in so much trouble but the truth is when you compare our situation today to past years, again...we have a lot to be thankful for. Before you walk away in a humpf over the beginning of this message, the A part of our scripture reference says "In everything give thanks. Everything means just that...everything.
It is not just about thanking God for our good things and the good things He has done in our lives, it also means thank you God for what I consider bad things. Why would and should we thank God for bad things? Because without those things, we would not have the level of faith we have grown into. You can not talk to someone going through their personal storm about God getting them through it...if God has not brought you through yours.
I remember seeing a cartoon about a man with his very own thunderstorm cloud over him and him only...following him where ever he went. People around him didn't get wet, only him. The thunder didn't affect other people, only him. No one really goes through anything like that although to that person it may seem like it.
The Old Testament book of Job is one that shows everyone reading it that Job was one who received one bad news report after another ...and it happened to him because God and Satan had a conversation about him. God had so much confidence in Job, He allowed Satan to do things to Job that would make the average person crazy. But in Job 1:21 he say's...Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked I shall return thither; the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away, Blessed be the name of the Lord.
In the midst of his loss, Job had a "thank you Lord". As you continue to read the story of Job, you will find that even in his strength, Job's knees got weak and he said some things that proved he was no superman that God bragged about. But at the end of the chapter, Job prayed for his friends and God turned his horrible situation around and gave him twice as much as he lost.
Everyone goes through something that is uncomfortable to them, we all have things we don't like but the objective should never be one of complaining. Instead, it should be one of thanks. Romans 8:28...And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.
Thank you Lord for this trial because I know there is a lesson you have for me to learn. This New Testament Epistle deals with the return of Christ. A good question that must be answered is...if Jesus came back right now, would he find me giving thanks or bashing someone. Would He find you building up the one who is struggling with their issues or pushing them aside. Would He find you ministering to someone that is not like you, less fortunate than you or would you be telling them they could do better if they wanted to instead of bothering you.
We are to pray without ceasing...and there is plenty to pray about. Pray that the friend you have who lives a lifestyle that will condemn them will see God's light shining in you and because of the Love of Jesus within you, they will want that light you have. Pray that the marriage you are in that appears to be falling apart will find God's love in both partners and vow to fight to keep the marriage.
Pray for patience as the person driving in front of you cut you off because they were trying to get home from work to help their child with his or her chores and homework before that parent went to their second or third job.
Pray that as you prepare for this upcoming day of thanksgiving, that you will find patience in the grocery store as you walk down the aisles behind the slow walking older couple in front of you. It could be one of their final walk before one of them passes away due to sickness.
Pray that the Holy Spirit will lead you to do something for someone less fortunate than you and then thank God for the opportunity He gave you to Bless someone.
Remember our scripture reference and the B part of the verse...for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.
Thank Your Lord For Your Word
Elder Thomas W. Burgess