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What Am I Thankful For???  A Word from THE WORD!!! #11

Bible Ballistics

See that none render evil

for evil

unto any man;

but ever follow

that which is good,

both among yourselves,

and to all men.

16 Rejoice evermore.

17 Pray without ceasing.

18 In every thing give thanks:

for this is the will of God

in Christ Jesus

concerning you.

19 Quench not the Spirit.

20 Despise not prophesyings.  

21 Prove all things;

hold fast that which is good.

22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

23 And the very God of peace

sanctify you wholly;

and I pray God

your whole spirit

and soul

and body

be preserved blameless

unto the coming

of our Lord Jesus Christ.  

24 Faithful is he that calleth you,

who also will do it.”   1 Thessalonians 5:15-24

I love this precious list of things which Paul encouraged the believers in Thessalonica to observe, oh, that we might follow suit and set our hearts and minds on this kind of holy living, dependence on our Lord Jesus, and loving gratitude to HIM “IN EVERYTHING”!  There is something I’d like to point out for our consideration today; I’ve often heard it said that we are to give thanks “IN” all things but not “FOR” all things!  I’ve even been heard to say that very thing, but what does scripture say?  Let’s find out.  First from Paul’s letter to the Roman believers:

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.

29 For whom he did foreknow,

he also did predestinate

to be conformed to the image of his Son,

that he might be the firstborn

among many brethren.

30 Moreover whom he did predestinate,

them he also called:

and whom he called,

them he also justified:

and whom he justified,

them he also glorified.

31 What shall we then say to these things?

If God be for us,

who can be against us?”  Romans 8:28-31

While verse 28 is often quoted or shared in times of trial or crises, we so often miss verse 29 and following (I know I did for many years!), for while we have confidence that “all things” are working for our good—and they are—we must allow scripture to say what it says; for our confidence is not just in some “pie in the sky” hope that “things will all work out somehow”, because our confidence MUST rest in the truth that GOD IS WORKING on our behalf, not in some ethereal random purpose, but that ‘ALL’ has the purpose of causing believers to “be conformed to the image of his Son”!  Therefore, it’s important to follow the flow of this passage; God is conforming us into the image of our Lord Jesus, yet Paul also reminds us of who we are IN Jesus, we arecalled….justified…and glorifiedby the redeeming work of Jesus Christ on the cross!  Are we living in light of these truths?  Paul concludes this section of scripture with a powerful truth: “If God be for us, who can be against us?”!  And my friends that is what I want us to understand in this brief study; because God not only calls us to be thankful “in” all things, but HE actually calls us to be thankful “FOR” all things—because HE holds it all!

Speaking to yourselves

in psalms

and hymns

and spiritual songs,

singing

and making melody

in your heart to the Lord;

20 Giving thanks always for all things

unto God and the Father

in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;”  Ephesians 5:19-20

How? By remembering whose we are, and how we became His children (See John 1:12-14); and standing fast in this truth (which has always been truth) we can confidently proclaim with Job:

Though he slay me,

yet will I trust in him:

but I will maintain mine own ways

before him.”  Job 13:15

And said,

Naked came I out of my mother’s womb,

and naked shall I return thither:

the LORD gave,

and the LORD hath taken away;

blessed be the name of the LORD.

22 In all this Job sinned not,

nor charged God foolishly.”  Job 1:21-22

As we close, may we remember these truths and stand with Paul and Job, knowing that our confidence is in The ONE Who has redeemed us by HIS own blood, and HE is coming back for us someday soon!

For I know that my redeemer liveth,

and that he shall stand

at the latter day

upon the earth:

26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body,

yet in my flesh

shall I see God:

27 Whom I shall see for myself,

and mine eyes shall behold,

and not another;

though my reins be consumed within me.”   Job 19:25-27

What are you thankful for?  In all things and for all things we can practice our “attitude of gratitude”; because our God reigns in ALL!

And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying,

Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

7 Let us be glad and rejoice,

and give honour to him… ”  Revelation 19:6-7a

Amen and Amen!!!