1 Thessalonians 5:17-18: "Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
There are many people who spend a great deal of time wondering about the Will of God, but I can tell you with certainty that, without a doubt it is the will of God for us to pray and the will of God to give thanks in everything! The Word of God makes this very clear. I confess the first post on Thanksgiving was easy, the most difficult part was how to keep it concise! I could go on and on being thankful for the incredible blessings in my life. This one is more difficult though…I mean the difficulty of the verse above is that one word - “everything.” So I wanted to do an exercise of a few things I can be thankful for that, at first, I wasn’t.
• I am thankful for the times people disappointed or sinned against me: I mean what better way for us to be reminded that we are fallen men around fallen men? What better way can we glorify God than by overlooking an offense that can be overlooked, or by living out Matthew 18 in our relationships? What better way to practice being a Peace Maker?
• I am thankful that I have to apologize to my wife and boys often: Is there a better way to take them by the hand and lead them to the cross than acknowledging when I sin against them, and what that did to our Savior? It also teaches our boys the need to deal with sin in their lives before God, and in our fellowship with other believers.
• I am thankful Trinity is not a church for everyone: God has given us, as a body, some fantastic additions by letter and by salvation - He has also given us some needed subtractions. As we increase our devotion to the Word and our accountability to one another, that will draw some in and some out. Through all of this, we give thanks.
• I am thankful for anonymous letters: On November the 8th we saw that what Satan meant for evil, God meant for good! As you can read from previous posts in November, God fell on Trinity corporately as we repented for past and present sin. It lead to amazing restoration of relationships and caused our men to rise up to lead their church and families!
• I am thankful for some in the world who slander, hate and persecute: The Word of God says in Luke 6:26-- “Woe to you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.” When we are a people all men speak well of, we cease to be a church that Christ will speak well of.
• I am thankful for times when God moved in and turned my focus on Him: Times when looking for staff, when trying to sell a house, trying to buy a house, getting family settled in - times when I just feel stressed! I thank God for those times because those are the times I am reminded of how weak, frail, and self reliant I can be.
• I am thankful for Michele’s recent sickness: My sweet wife was as sick as she had been since we were in Seminary. The love Trinity showed to her and our family was nothing short of amazing. It is an understatement as to how the Lord used this negative situation to bless our family immensely. Thank you Trinity!
As I wrote this list I thought of several more, but I can tell you with confidence our God is faithful regardless of the situation - be it good, or bad. He IS good and DOES good ALL the time!