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November 2013

WHAT ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR?

By Beverley Carter

 
Another devastating typhoon has hit the Philippines; deadly tornados have caused destruction in the Midwestern United States; fighting continues in many regions of the world; hunger plagues certain parts of the world while obesity plagues others; despite technological advances and significant economic growth, poverty continues to spread worldwide like a deadly cancer.
 
Perhaps you have managed to avoid these specific trials and afflictions, but maybe you are facing an overwhelming crisis of your own. Perhaps you have lost your home, your job, a loved one or have recently been diagnosed with an incurable disease. If so, then you might be asking yourself the question, “Do I have anything in my life worth being thankful for?” Keep reading to get the answer.
 
My husband and I are both Australians, but we live and work in the United States where Thanksgiving is celebrated every November. I think it’s a wonderful holiday! On this special day, we are encouraged to get together with family and friends to fellowship and count our blessings. Although the idea of Thanksgiving is wonderful, it can be a lonely day for those who don’t have a family or have lost touch with their family.
 
As I pondered these things, I thought to myself, “There must be at least one thing we can all be thankful for, despite all the other trials we face in our lives.” However, since humanity is disbursed geographically and each one of us lives a unique life, one with individual trials and triumphs, it would be impossible for everyone to be concurrently thankful for the same earthly delight. Accordingly, I looked to scripture to find something we can all be thankful for.
 
As I searched the Bible, I looked specifically for texts with a theme of thankfulness. I found many, but there were a few that stood out above the rest:
 
“and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.” – Colossians 1:12
 
“since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” – Colossians 3:24
 
“For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance…” – Hebrews 9:15
 
“…This inheritance is kept in heaven for you.” – 1 Peter 1:4
 
These Bible verses tell us that God has set aside an inheritance for each one of us. We are each a son or daughter of God, and we have the opportunity to receive an inheritance of eternal life from our Heavenly Father. No matter who you are, where you live or what unique circumstances you face, you can be thankful for the promise of eternal life, which includes the privilege of living with Christ forever in Heaven.
 
“For He has rescued us out of the darkness and gloom of Satan’s kingdom and brought us into the Kingdom of His dear Son, who bought our freedom with His blood and forgave us all our sins.” – Colossians 1:13,14
 
Remember too, the words found in the Gospel of John, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” – John 14:1-3
 
The above promises all relate to things of the future. Now, let’s look at some great truths that we can be thankful for right now, even though we live in a ‘fallen’ world. We can be thankful for God’s awesome attributes.
 
God is omniscient: He knows everything that there is to know.
 
Psalm 139:1,2,6 – “Lord, You have examined me and You know me. You know everything I do; from far away You understand all my thoughts.” “Your knowledge of me is too deep; it is beyond my understanding.”
 
God is omnipresent: He is present everywhere at once.
 
Psalm 139:7-10 – “Where would I go to escape from You? Where could I get away from Your presence? If I went up to heaven, You would be there; if I lay down in the world of the dead, You would be there. If I flew away beyond the east or lived in the farthest place in the west, You would be there to lead me.”
 
God is omnipotent: He is all-powerful, able to do anything He chooses.
 
Psalm 139:13-18 – “You created every part of me; You put me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because you are to be feared; all You do is strange and wonderful. I know it with all my heart. When my bones were being formed, carefully put together in my mother’s womb, when I was growing there in secret, You knew that I was there. You saw me before I was born. The days allotted to me have all been recorded in Your book, before any of them ever began. O God, how difficult I find Your thoughts; how many of them there are! If I counted them, they would be more than the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with You.”
 
The implications of these divine attributes of God should bring both peace and thankfulness to your heart!
 
Dear friend, if you still think you have nothing to be thankful for, then please go back to the beginning of this article and read all the texts out loud. If you will do so with an open heart, I believe you will find something to be thankful for. Please join me and millions of others to say, “Thank you, Father! HALLELUJAH!”
 
Your friend in the Blessed Hope, Beverley Carter

 

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