Because I don't want anything to get in the way of this "season of thanksgiving", I am simply going to leave you with these thoughts.....
Few men suffered as the apostle Paul did, yet he learned how to give thanks in his circumstances....even in a prison cell. Look at what he writes in II Corinthians 4:8, "We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed."
As a child of God, your days of losing are over. Because of Jesus, it should be our ultimate goal to live every day to its fullest. Every day is filled with new opportunities to live out our thankfulness for Jesus, as we serve Him. We should live every day knowing that our sins are forgiven and that we have a home waiting for us in Heaven. This fact should top everyone's thanksgiving list!
As you struggle to be remain thankful in the midst of life's circumstances, consider the response of a guy named Matthew Henry, who had just been mugged.....
"Let me be thankful first because I was never robbed before; second, although they took my purse, they did not take my life; third, because although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed and not I who robbed."
Thanksgiving prayer: Our Father and our God, I am so thankful for your abiding joy and peace. In spite of life circumstances, I am not depressed. In spite of life's sorrows, I am joyful. In spite of despair, I am hopeful. Your love, peace and comfort keep me focused on you and I am so thankful to call you my Savior. Amen
See you Sunday.
Thanksgiving is here! In order to help all of us transition into a time of reflecting on God's faithfulness, I would like to share with you a Thanksgiving devotional from Charles Swindoll. I hope you enjoy reading it and feel free to pass it along to others.
"It's coming! That quiet, unheralded day that refuses to be glamorized is just around the corner. If you're not carful, you'll let it slip right on by with only a plate full of turkey and a passing nod. That's right, it's Thanksgiving......my favorite. Why? I prefer it because it's so healthy, so encouraging.....and so understated. No jingles to sing, no commercials to endure, no gifts to buy--just a day to be thankful. To look up and around and within and say, 'Thank you, Lord.'
Maybe these few thoughts will stimulate you to give God your own thanks in greater abundance.
LOOKING UP.....Thank you, Lord for your sovereign control over our circumstances. For your holy character in spite of our sinfulness. For your commitment to us even when we wander astray. For your Word that gives us direction. For your love that holds us close. For your gentle compassion in our sorrows. For your consistent faithfulness through our highs and lows. For your strong "No" when we need to hear it. For your surprising "Yes" when we lack the faith to believe it. For your wise "Wait" when we are impatient and rash. For your understanding when we are confused. For your Spirit that enlightens our eyes. For your grace that removes our guilt. Thank you, Lord, for all you are, all you do, all you say. If we were unable to look up into your face, Thanksgiving would be just another day.
LOOKING AROUND.....Thank you, Lord for our wonderful country, so blessed, so unique. For close family ties, so affirming, so enjoyable. For teachers, mentors, and personal heroes who spur us on. For an opportunity to be of help and encouragement to others. For the embrace of a friend who really cares. For the joy of seeing our children and grandchildren grow and learn. For an occupation that enables us to make a living. For a place to live, clothes to wear, and food to eat. Thank you, Lord, for such incredible abundance. By just looking around, we are made aware of how rich we really are.
LOOKING WITHIN.....Thank you, Lord for the gift of good health, hidden treasure easily overlooked. For eyes that see the beauty of your creation. For minds that are curious, creative and competent. For memories of past pleasures and recent accomplishments. For ears that receive the world of sounds surrounding us. For the special stimulation of taste and touch. For hands to work and legs to walk with. For heartaches that force us to rearrange our priorities. For broken dreams and lingering afflictions that humble us. For the courage to tell the truth, though it hurts. For the determination to finish a demanding task. For a sense of humor that brings healing and hope.
This is Thanksgiving, O Lord, not Thankskeeping. And so we pause to declare to you these expressions of gratitude. They are merely an overview of the thousands of things for which we are thankful. You are indeed worthy of our highest praise. To you goes all the glory! Amen." (Charles Swindoll)
See you Sunday.