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Seeds of the Kingdom

Give thanks in all circumstances.

by

16 September 2008

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Rejoice; always pray, constantly give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NKJV

Can a Christian really give thanks in all circumstances? I watched a TV programme about the holocaust. A piece of paper was found in the concentration camp. On it was written a prayer of thanks. What could anyone find to thank God for in such a place? They were thanking God for finding fellowship, kindness and love in that dreadful place.

Corrie Ten Boom and her family had hidden Jews and saved them from the Nazis for one and a half years in Haarlem, Holland, during World War 2. After they were arrested, Scriptures she had learnt off by heart helped her. She felt discouraged when she was put in a cell in solitary confinement for four months, but she wrote this. ‘I long for freedom, but I hope I will not lose the joyful consciousness of Jesus’ presence that I have in this cell’.

We are commanded by God to give thanks and if we don’t, then we are out of God’s will. The measure of thankfulness we have in our hearts is a measure of how much we are filled with the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t depend on emotions. It’s an act of will. We are capable of it. It’s what God wants from us. Maybe we feel far away from this as we complain and grumble in our heart.

Lack of thankfulness becomes part of us. Poison and bitterness get into our spirit. It’s a negative thing which has a consequence. It takes us away from Lord’s presence. Grumbling is sinful. There are warnings from Israel’s history. God was not pleased with the complaints and grumblings of the Israelites in the desert.

The Bible tells us this as a warning to us. Today you have a choice – grumble about all that is wrong or rejoice in all that is good !

Prayer: Forgive me Lord for the times when I have had a complaining spirit. Help me to always know the wonder of your love and presence whatever the circumstances may be. In Jesus. Amen


 

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