Friday, June 08, 2018

Thank you, and thank you again

I wrote this back in 2012, and found it my email today. Sharing because it is still a good reminder to be grateful. 🙂

Thank you, and thank you again

What are some of the first few words and phrases we teach children? It could be "please" or "mama" or "papa". Or even "yaya." After a child masters these words, don't we teach him or her to say "thank you" too?

Yet be honest with me. How many times have you said thank you today to someone or for something? Maybe less than what we hope to have done.

Don't worry; don't be guilty. I, too, need more practice in that department.

Have you ever wondered why it's not easy or it's not a default mode for adults to be thankful--even if this is one of the first things they are taught?

Maybe we have been busy. Or skeptical, or jaded, or cynical. And that is a sad thing.

Toward the end of the little book of 1 Thessalonians (I say little because you can finish it in one sitting; go ahead and try it) is one phrase--it's not even a sentence--that God wants us to do.

It says "give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

If you paraphrase it, it will be something like this: Thank God for whatever happens to you because He wants you to go through it now that you are one with Christ.

When I read that, I am struck by when we are supposed to be grateful. It says "in all circumstances." Are we supposed to thank God even for the circumstances which are not pleasant, example: financial difficulty?

Yes, because the Bible says "give thanks in all circumstances" -- that means both the pleasant and unpleasant circumstances.

Now when you have only P500 left in your wallet, it might be hard and even illogical to thank God.

Or when your child or sibling or parent gets really sick, it is hard to say, "Thank you Lord," isn't it?

But God has a plan for each one of us, since this verse says God wills it that certain events happen in our lives.

So I think it's all a matter of trust. 

Let's look at what the Bible has to day further:

Psalm 34:1: I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.

Daniel 6:10: Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees  and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.

Ephesians 5:20: always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The words "at all times", "as he had done before", and "always" appear in these verses, making it clear to us when we should give thanks--in both the good and hard times because God is in control.

I can be at peace knowing that God has a plan for me, and nothing happens to me without His permission. Although some things may happen that we don't like, God must have a purpose why such events happen, thus we should trust Him and be thankful that He is in control.

Aren't you glad God is in control? And because He is, we can just rest secure in His love, no matter what happens.

To summarize, let us have this mindset: thank God for everything, for both the pleasant and seemingly unpleasant events in my life. Trust Him that He is in control of everything and you are safe in His loving arms.

BOOK OF THE WEEK: I'm just in the first three chapters of "French Women Don't Get Fat" by Mireille Guiliano but so far I like what I have read so far. To lose weight, go for quality over quantity (a little piece of dark chocolate twice a week for instance instead of Snickers bars), never be hungry, have yogurt (hurray!), and have a little pack of nuts as emergency food. This looks to be one diet book that doesn't make you feel deprived.

VERSE OF THE WEEK: The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. ~ Habakkuk 3:19