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Seeing life's events in the light of God's Word.

Joy In The Midst of Anguish

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I Thessalonians 5:18- “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

 

Did you read this verse and think, “How can we give thanks in the midst of disasters and death?”

Doesn’t God see the devastation caused by floods, fires, and acts of violence in our country? 

Three things stand out to me:

1. God is asking us to be thankful, not necessarily for the circumstances, but in the midst of them to retain a thankful attitude for what we do have.

2. Giving thanks is not based on our present circumstances.

In giving thanks, we are not denying our current hurts. We are, however, showing our thankfulness for our position in Christ and the joy ahead of us because we have put our faith in Jesus. Faith that his death, burial, and resurrection saves us from our sins and assures our eternal life. 

We focus on the “joy that is set before us”…that deep inner joy that abides in spite of our disappointments and struggles. 

When we lead lives of gratitude and Thanksgiving every day, it will change our whole perspective on life. By focusing on our blessings and sharing what we have with others, we understand the true meaning of thankfulness.

3. And, finally, instead of asking, “Why me?”, we should ask “What for?”  Why does all of this happen? It is ultimately to display the reality of Jesus…to bring glory to God…to accomplish his ultimate will and purpose. 

This season, let’s give thanks in the midst of pain, anguish, and loss, looking ahead to the joy we have in Christ Jesus.

 

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GRATEFUL HEARTS GIVE PRAISE

 

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Hebrews 13:15- Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.”

 

Recent accounts of terrorist attacks tell of people who stepped into the line of fire to save loved ones.

Parents often sacrifice things they want in order to clothe and feed their families.

In the Old Testament, people sacrificed animals to cover their sins.

Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son, Isaac, on an altar on Mt. Moriah.

God sacrificed his son as atonement for our sins.

Sacrifice: “An act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.”

Many give of their time and resources to further the gospel.

Some believers may even lose their lives in defense of it.

For most of us, this won’t happen, of course.

But, we can offer a “sacrifice of praise” from truly grateful hearts.—ones that openly profess his name.

 

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Be That One out of Ten

 

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Luke 17:17- Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?”

 

On his way to Jerusalem, Jesus healed ten men who had leprosy. Only one of them came back and thanked Him.

We often forget to thank God, too, even though we have so much to praise Him for—the healing of a physical ailment, provision of a necessity, an unexpected blessing.

The Easter season is often one in which we overlook the purpose, and get caught up in the secular aspects of the day—coloring eggs, putting together the family dinner, buying a new dress…

Let’s not take for granted His Mercy and Grace, His forgiveness of sins and His gift of salvation.

Praise to our Most High God. The author and finisher of our faith.

Thank you, Jesus, for your work on the Cross.

Thank you for the Resurrection and the empty tomb.

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