Saturday, November 19, 2011

Let Us Give Thanks

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
     Give thanks in ALL circumstances!  Here we are a few days before Thanksgiving.  Invitations have been sent, menu’s have been planned, impressive tablescapes have been designed (Alright, maybe I didn’t design a tablescape, but one of you might have.)  
    It’s easier to think about being thankful at this time of the year.  It’s even expected.  It’s what we do.  Or maybe not, perhaps your income has declined - or worse been lost in the past year.  Maybe you or someone you love is fighting a serious illness.  Or maybe you are grieving the loss of a loved one.  Perhaps you are worried about total global economic collapse.
     But Paul tells us in this verse that it is “God’s will that we give thanks in all circumstances.”  Seriously, ALL circumstances.  That is not always an easy thing.  But Paul was telling us that God wants us to thank Him even when we don’t feel like it.
     So how can we be always joyful, constantly praying, and continuously thankful?  
     By trusting in the reckless love of our Loving Father.
     Here are a few verses of encouragement.
Psalm 56:3
     When I am afraid, I will trust in you.
John 14: 1
     Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God.
Romans 15:13
     May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Psalm 62: 7-8
     My salvation and my honor depend on God;  He is my mighty rock, my refuge.  Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.

Psalm 100 
      Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, & we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.
     Enter His gates with thanksgiving & His courts with praise; give thanks to Him & praise His name. For the Lord is good & His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.
     Trusting in God brings hope, and hope makes thanksgiving in all circumstances possible.  Trust and hope that God will take our current situations and work them for good.  May your Thanksgiving Day be prepared with hope and celebrated with praise.

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