Bible Ballistics: BBs #413 Thanksgiving Joy????
Tomorrow is the day that we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the US, but we ought to be a thankful people every day! What are you thankful for today? Are you thankful? Have the trials and troubles of life drained your ‘attitude of gratitude’? I hope we can boost our thankfulness quotient today as we prepare for a day of celebration, family, reflection, and hopefully time looking up to the One who gave HIS life for us!
One of my favorite ‘thanksgiving’ passages is a little different than you might expect, yet it is a passage that often weighs heavy on my heart, for I need continual reminding of the heart that I desire to live out before the world. A heart of gratitude toward God—but even more!
“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire
that ye might be filled with the knowledge
of his will
in all wisdom
and spiritual understanding;
10 That ye might walk worthy
of the Lord
unto all pleasing,
being fruitful in every good work,
in the knowledge of God;
11 Strengthened with all might,
according to his glorious power,
unto all patience
12 Giving thanks unto the Father,
which hath made us meet
to be partakers
of the inheritance
of the saints
in light:” Colossians 1:9-12
We are called to give “thanks” unto God our Father, but I don’t want us to miss the way we are to be “giving thanks”! We are called to be thankful with “all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness”! Ouch!!! Now you know why I said earlier that this passage weighs heavy on my heart! Not just because sometimes I forget to keep my attitude of gratitude, but also because God calls us to an even higher plain—God calls His own to be thankful with ‘patience’, ‘longsuffering’, and ‘joyfulness’! Oh my, the “P” word! Yes, patience. As my husband is often heard to say, “I have patience, there are just times I can’t use it!” We all have trials that are sent to help us develop patience—and the two words used here—patience and longsuffering—deal with two different aspects of patience; one deals with our circumstances and the other deals with people. We are called to keep a grateful attitude and spirit with patience in our difficult circumstances, and also to “suffer long” with those people in our lives who are so good at ‘pushing our buttons’! Ouch again! But that’s not all—we are to do all this with “joyfulness”! How?
Well, I’m not claiming to have the answer to that question, but I would like to offer some insight, if I can. We can only be ‘joyful’ in difficulties as we remember that it is God who holds us, God who saves us, God who gave His only Son to die for us, God who sustains our every breath, and HE is trustworthy! When we trust in the God who IS able to sustain us, we can have hope in the midst of turmoil, comfort in the midst of pain, and power to overcome our circumstances and the difficult people we encounter.
“Trust in the LORD
with all thine heart;
and lean not
unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways
and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Trusting God in our difficulties will build our confidence, and as our confidence grows, we will gain more gratitude and be a testament to it in our every way. James reminds us of the import of looking to God in the good times as well as the difficult—because our God is in charge of both.
“My brethren, count it all joy
when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this,
that the trying of your faith
4 But let patience have her perfect work,
that ye may be perfect
and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:2-4
When we trust ourselves to God with patience, longsuffering and joy—we will stand out in a world of discontent and continual manipulation! We have a higher call! Will we answer that call today, and take time to focus on being thankful to God? Remember, it is all from HIM!
“Every good gift
and every perfect gift
is from above,
and cometh down
from the Father of lights,
with whom is no variableness,
neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17
Take some time to count your blessings—they are many!!!