Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Always a Cause for Thanksgiving

It’s not always easy to see things in life to be thankful for.  After all, many people are suffering as you read this.  They may be suffering from marital problems, health issues, rebellious children, being laid off from work, and the list goes on and on.  
However, if you are a child of the living God, you always have many reasons to give thanks!  If you are facing trials in your life, this may be difficult to recognize. Even with the blessed hope we have in Jesus Christ, our problems in life can quickly overshadow any joy which may come from the spirit of God.  If that is your situation, take heart.  The Bible offers perfect perspective on the troubles we face in this life.

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”  James 1:2-5

Try to see that any trial we will face as believers is but a means to an end, being that we would be made perfect and not require anything but what the Lord gives us.  

This subject is incomplete without a mention of the man who has suffered perhaps more than any person who ever lived.  That is of course Job.  Within literally about 2 minutes time, he received consecutive messages that all of his wealth, possessions and children taken from him. (Job 1:13-19) Job’s response should inspire us all:

““Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21

And later, to add insult to injury, Job also suffered tremendous physical illness, pain and suffering as well as strong discouragement from the only loved one left in his life.

 “Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!”” Job 2:9
And yet we see that God later restored him. (Job 42:12) 

Even in the absence of earthly restoration, it is important to remember that we are strangers on this earth, and that our home is with God in heaven.  On the day we are taken home, all will be restored and the pain and suffering that we experience here will be gone.

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4

We, through the blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ can know our eternal destiny in Him, and live knowing that no matter what happens, we will be taken home someday.  So indeed, be thankful for all that you have, trails or not.  But be most thankful for the assurance of salvation provided by our faith in Jesus Christ.  

“A Psalm of Thanksgiving. Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.  For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” Psalm 100