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November 21, 2005
Paul instructed us in Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
In Col 4:2, we are instructed to Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;
The book of Revelation shows in Chapter 7 that thanksgiving is occurring in Heaven 11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying: "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen."
God instructs us to be thankful always even when we face problems that we don't really feel so thankful to have. Looking back over the past few months what could I be thankful for in the difficult times? It is easy to be thankful when your belly's full, you are financially free and everything seems to be going great.
Difficulty: On the last day of May my 21 year old son experiences a seizure for the first time in his life. He is working at a job that offers no health insurance. Since he is not a full time student, we can not carry him on our insurance polices. I have great concern for the health of my son and the future of his financial status. It was even more heartbreaking to learn that the seizures were probably caused by my son's ingestion of a drug called ecstasy while he was out barhopping seeking sex.
What is to be thankful for in this situation? I'm thankful the drug did not kill him or put him into a vegetative state. I'm thankful that my son learned the hard way how dangerous drugs can be. I'm thankful for the support of my family during this time. I'm thankful that he qualified for Tenncare which paid half of his hospital bill. I'm thankful that I have a close enough relationship with my son that he confided in me that he took the drug.
Difficulty: I watched my pet Dachsund run right out in front of a car and get hit. How did this happen? She had chased a squirrel across the street (we don't have a lot of traffic on our road). She often played outside and she seldom went to the road. The day was July 12 and I had just returned from a doing a bible study at a convalescent home. I watched Suzy running through the yard and noted that I had never seen a dog look so happy. I took a piece of mail to the mailbox and as I stood at the end of the driveway waiting for one car to pass by, I saw Suzy emerge from the grass across the street. She saw me and instantly ran into the street directly into the path of the oncoming car. She yelped in pain as the car made her do a 360 degree turn in midair. She landed on the road, got up, and ran past me and laid down because she knew she had done something wrong. I carried her into the house where she died a few moments later. I buried her in the backyard.
What is to be thankful for in this situation? I'm thankful that my daughter rescued her from the animal shelter 11 months earlier. The dog was on death row. I'm thankful that the dog knew what it was like to be in a home that loved and cared for her. The previous owner had abused her. I'm thankful that I may see this creature again in heaven because scripture tells us that all of creation, not just man, awaits redemption.
Difficulty: The year is 1990. I'm smoking marijuana 2 to 3 times a week. I'm bored with life and I'm bored with my marriage. I cancel my health insurance so I could have more money to bet on football games with. My then 5 year old son is admitted to the hospital with a growth on his neck which is making him sick.
What is to be thankful for in this situation? I'm thankful for my wife who believed and trusted in Christ and convinced me to watch a show called Jack Van Impe Presents. I'm thankful for the prophetic word being taught by bible believing pastors because this convinced me the Bible is not a collection of fairy tales but is the word of the living God. I'm thankful Jesus didn't give up on me and used my son's bad health to soften my hardened heart. I'm thankful for doctors and modern medicine which cured my son. I'm thankful for the convicting power of the Holy Spirit and the power of a prayer called the sinner's prayer. I'm thankful that I asked Jesus to come into my heart and forgive me of my sins when I was as high as a kite listening to the tape player in my car. I'm thankful for the power of music and the Christian rock group called Stryper because God used their song "To Hell With The Devil", to move my heart to give it to God. I'm thankful that Jesus died on the Christ for you and I so we could have eternal life even though our bodies die.
Have a safe and happy thanksgiving and remember that all blessings come from God and we should always be thankful even in our most trying circumstances because all of our trials here on earth will pass.
Copyright 2005 by Gary Goodworth
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