Thursday, February 7, 2013

Giving Thanks in Everything

We're instructed in Scripture to "give thanks in everything; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (1Th 5:18).  This must be a way of life for every disciple of Christ.

Just before Thanksgiving 2005, I was told I had been laid off from my well-paying job at a Fortune 50 company due to budget cuts.  The day I found out, I came home that afternoon, put down my briefcase, and gathered my family together.  I excitedly shared the news with them and reminded them that God says to give thanks in all things.  So we joined hands in a circle and profusely thanked the Lord for my lay-off from work.  We knew the Lord would be glorified in it, and He was.

After further prayer, I was rehired to another position with even more responsibility, and got a major pay increase of 25%.  There is a whole testimony of how the Lord continued to be glorified in the months and years after that.  But suffice to say that we did not go wrong by thanking the Lord.  He's got everything in control and we can trust Him with out lives.

We recently played an after-dinner game as a family at the table, in which we went through the alphabet, and each person had to say something starting with that letter that they are thankful to God for.  After about a week, we had the following list of natural and spiritual blessings that we are thankful for.

Air, Air conditioner, Alarm, Apples, Aunts, Automobile, Avocadoes, Bananas, Bed, Bible, Bicycle, Birthday, Blanket, Books, Brain, Calendars, Cameras, Carrots, CD player, CDs, Chairs, Clothing, Computers, Cousins, Cucumbers, Daddy, Dancing, Dentist, Dictionary, Dill, Dishes, Dishwasher, Disposable diapers, Doctors, Doorknobs, Doors, Dryers, DVD Player, DVDs, Education, Eggs, Elbows, Elders, Electricity, Epistles, Erasers, E-Sword Bible, Evangelism, Eyelids, Eyes, Face, Faith, Family, Feet, Fingers, Floss, Flowers, Food, Forks, Friends, Fruit, Fruit Tea, Fun, Games, Garage, Garden, Gas, Gates, Gems from heaven, Getaways, Glasses, Government, GPS, Grandparents, Grapefruit, Grapes, Grass, Growth, Guitar, Hands, Health, Heart, Heating system, Home, Instruments, Internet, Joseph, Justice, Kitten, Labor in the Lord, Lake(s), Language, Laughter, Library, Life, Light(s), Lilies, Lip balm, Lotion, Magnifying glass, Mints, Mirror, Mommy, Money, Mops, Nature, Nurses, Oatmeal, Olive oil, Oranges, Orchards, Oxygen, Paintings, Parents, Pastors, Peppers, Phones, Piano, Pictures, Pillows, Planes, Plants, Poetry, Potatoes, Presents, Printer, Q-tips, Quietness, Qumran texts, Rain, Raspberries, Reading, Red chili peppers, Red grapes , Relatives, Rest, Ribs, Roast turkey, Roosters, Roses, Salad, Salt, Sanitation services, Scissors, Shelter, Shoes, Silverware, Slippers, Soap, Socks, Sofa, Songs, Stars, Strength, Sun, Table, Tacos , Tape, Tapes, Tea, Teenagers, Teeth, Terrace, Tires, Toddlers, Toilet, Toilet paper, Tongue, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Toothpicks, Tow trucks, Trash cans, Trumpets, Umbrellas , Uncles, Underwear, Vacuum Cleaner , Variety, Vegetables, Verses, Violins, Vocal cords, Voice, Wallets, Walls, Wardrobe, Washing machine, Water, Weeping willow trees, Wellness, Wet wipes, Wind, Windows, Windshield wipers, Work, World, Writing, X-rays, Xylophone,Yard, Youth, Yo-yo , Zippers, and Zoo.

Angels, Anointing, Apostles, Ark of the Covenant, Armor, Atonement, Authority, Baptism, Beatitudes, Blessings, Blood of Jesus, Body of Christ, Breakthrough, Christ, Circumcision (of heart), Citizenship (in heaven), Cleansing of God, Communion, Compassion, Confirmations, Courage, Coverage, Covering, Cross, Deliverance, Direction, Divine appointments, Dreams from God, Edification, Election, Encouragement, Enlightenment, Eternal life, Evangelists, Every opportunity to: Be a witness, Cast out demons, Experience persecution, Give, Heal the sick, Impart holy fire, Love, Make disciples, Pray, Preach, Raise the dead, Share, Suffer for Christ, Teach, Visit the sick and those in prison; Every trial You have brought us through, Faith, Faithfulness, Father in heaven, Fear of the Lord, Fire of God, Forgiveness, Free will, Freedom, Fruit of the Spirit, Gifts of the Spirit, Glory, God, Goodness, Gospel, Grace, Growth, Guidance, Heaven, Help, Heritage, Holiness, Holy Spirit, Hope, Inspiration, Intercession of Christ and Holy Spirit, Intervention (of God), Jesus, Joy, Judgment of God, Justice, Justification, Kindness (of God), Kingdom of God, Knowledge, Law (of God), Laying on of hands, Lord’s Supper, Lordship (of Christ), Love, Mansion in heaven, Marriage of the Lamb, Marriage Supper of the Lamb, Mediator, Mercy, Messages, Ministry, Miracles, New Covenant, New Life, New Wine, Obedience (of Christ), Omnipotence, Omnipresence, Omniscience, Oracles, Parables of Jesus, Patience, Patriarchs, Peace, Perfection of Christ, Persecution, Portal of  Heaven, Power over demons, Power to heal, Praise, Predestination, Presence (God’s), Promises of God, Prophecies, Prophets, Purification, Quiet time, Reality in Christ, Reason to live, Rebirth, Redemption, Refiner’s fire, Reformation, Refuge, Reign of Christ, Rest, Restoration, Resurrection, Revelation / revelation, Revival, Rewards in heaven, Righteousness, River of Life, Sacrifice of Christ, Salvation, Sanctification, Seraphim, Sword of the Spirit, Tenderness, Throne of God, Tongues, Treasures in heaven, Trials, Trust, Truth, Understanding, Unity, Vicarious death of Christ, Victory, Vindication, Vine, Warnings, Wisdom, Worship, Year of the Lord’s favor, Zeal for the Lord, and Zion.

Putting it All Together
The psalmist said, "I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart!" (Ps 100:4). When I approach the Lord in prayer, I come with thanks. There is so much to thank Him for, even when life's burdens weigh heavy upon me.  "Every good and perfect gift flows down from the Father of Lights." I hope you will do the same.  Aside from praise, thanks is the only other thing you can give to God that He has not given to you. What are you thankful for?

Image Credit: The "English Breakfast" illustration is by my sixteen-year old daughter C.V.  You may find more of her artwork at A Brush with Life.

Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, you may also like the other posts in this blog available through the links in the side bar. You may also access a collection of my most popular blogs at "Writing for the Master."

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission.