Thank God For Who? No Way!
I often teach on thanking God FOR everything. It’s time for me to relate that to the Thanksgiving Day Holiday.
This Thursday many of you will sit down to eat with people that will take your joy from you (if you let them).
And I know what you’re saying to me, “But you don’t know them, Mark!” Or, “But you don’t know how they treat me, Mark!”
Thank God and Sing
Let me share with you from a wonderful man I look forward to meeting when I get to heaven, the Swedish Reverend Hammarsten. He writes about Ephesians 5:18-21. This is a brief snippet:
“. . . The Gatherings of God’s children easily become spiritless. The time is consumed in unprofitable conversation. They do not always “redeem the time” when they come together. Then, having whiled away the meeting, they perhaps sing a song as a pretense to cover the mischief, but surely this is not to fulfill what the Apostle teaches. The singing must not be a pastime [or done out of leisure], it must serve for edification. Even singing can put God’s Spirit to flight. We sing too little. But it is not choirs we primarily need, it is singing and rejoicing Hearts. Hence in connection with singing, Paul exhorts the Christians to thank God in [and FOR] all things, and submit themselves one to another. . . But how can I sing? Begin by thanking God, thanking Him for everything. All that He sends you is worthy of praise. Begin to thank Him, and you will soon sing.”
Do you realize why God wants you to thank Him FOR everything? It doesn’t always makes sense to me, but, because He works counterintuitively, I’m willing to go on a little faith.
I’m like you! I would rather complain about the things that are in my life that I do not like. So it does not make sense to thank God for the difficulty (or difficult person/s). But amazingly, when I thank him FOR that thing, this person, etc. He gives me a peace that completely transcends my understanding.
You probably recognize those words from Philippians 4:6-7, but what is often missed in that passage is the strong admonition to “Thank the Lord.” Some would argue that when you dissect the sentence it actually says, “be thankful for that which makes you anxious.”
Let me wrap this up. Take with you on Thursday, a special song that causes your heart to rejoice. And thank the Lord FOR your crazy relatives and friends. Then, watch God give you a peace you have rarely had on Thanksgiving Day (unless your football team is favored to win).
Love you guys!