During this time of the year probably the number one verses is Psalm l00:4 or I Thessalonians 5:18 “In everything give thanks or Psalms 136:1 Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. And there are many more than these that tell us to give thanks.
I love what Peterson does in his translation of the Message with Psalm 100:4 in the message it says, “Enter with the password: “Thank you!"
Throughout the scriptures it seems that the key that opens the door to God’s presence and help is when He sees’ a thankful heart.
One of my favorite portions of scripture is found in Philippians 4 verses 4 through 8 for when we are faced with a storm in our life these verses tell us how to approach that difficulty in our life. But notice in verse 6 it tells us “ to be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer”. So this tells us that when we are faced with any difficulty or situation we are to pray. But notice the rest of that verse for it says “with thanksgiving, let your requests be made to God.”
It makes me think that whenever we encounter the presence of God He is looking at our heart and looking for the thanksgiving that resides there.
We seem to talk about this subject only during the holiday of Thanksgiving but we need to talk about it all year round.
May I ask are you healthy, and is your family healthy? Then be thankful because there are many that are not. Do you have a job, and even though it may not be what you wanted and the environment may not be the best but give thanks because there are many who are out of work!
Maybe you complain about all your husband does is set at home and watch TV but be thankful, I can tell you of several women who would give anything if their husband would just come home.
Are your kids driving you nuts, then be thankful, because too many families today have a wayward child and don’t know where they are.
Now maybe you are saying, "Lee in all the illustrations that you gave it doesn’t fit my situation we do have some in our family that are sick, I am that one who doesn’t know where my child is or my husband." You say, "I have been hurt by others and am having a tough time getting over it. Or I did pray but I lost my loved one what am I to be thankful for?"
I remember in the darkest time of my life and I cried out to God the one thing that kept me going was hope, I found that when I had hope I could endure what I was going through. Where does that hope come from, Psalm 33:20-22 Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His holy name. Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, Just as we hope in You.
You see Jesus has told us that with men things are impossible but with God all things are possible. He is the answer, Oh what a hope that we have that He and He alone will intervene in your situation.
For those who have lost someone you loved, you have the greatest of hope for in the world to come what a day it will be. Begin to look up all those verses that speak of Heaven and the death of Christians. Underline those words of Jesus that tell you of that great day that is coming. Read it every day until it becomes a reality in your life.
Pastor Lee Cruse who is so thankful for the congregation of Grace Bible Church.
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