Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Priorities: Finding a way to give thanks in a messed up world

As a family, we give thanks before each meal. We bow our heads and one of us – we take turns – prays a simple prayer of appreciation for the meal. I remember when my youngest could barely speak. She’d pray, “Baby Jesus, for this food. Amen.” We never figured out why she prayed to Baby Jesus, but she’s outgrown it now.

I doubt if any of us send up a prayer of appreciation for our clothes before we get dressed each morning. 
Or how about every time we get in the car and it starts? What about when we pay bills and the money doesn’t run out before we pay the last one. Do we think a prayer of thankfulness every time a thought of a loved one comes through our minds?

It seems so odd to me. We can be so rigid about the necessity of giving thanks before a meal but not express any appreciation the rest of the day.

What are some other things for which we can be thankful?

A lot of conflicting stories abound on every issue out there. I’ve learned to rely on Scripture to help me prioritize what’s important. Based on that, in no particular order, I’m thankful for…

  • The transforming power of the Word of God; 1 Thessalonians 2:13. (ß Spend some time in God’s Word; read the verses to help you prioritize your season right now!)
  • God’s gift – the sacrifice of His Son; 2 Corinthians 9:15.
  • The peace of the Messiah; Colossians 3:15.
  • The privilege to enter the presence of God; Psalm 100:4.
  • Victory, because it is all about winning when it comes to eternity; 1 Corinthians 15:57.
  • God’s grace and the privilege to pass it along; 2 Corinthians 4:15.
  • The hard times God uses to help me grow; 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
  • The part I have in God’s eternal kingdom; Colossians 1:12.
  • Wisdom and power of God that are available to me; Daniel 2:23.
  • Prayer that conquers worry; Philippians 4:6.
  • God’s eternal goodness and love; Psalm 106:1.
  • The amazing works of a loving God; Psalm 107:8.
  • God hears us, answers us, and saves us; Psalm 118:21.
  • The righteousness of Holy God; Psalm 7:17.
  • The unlimited power and eternal nature of Almighty God; Revelation 11:17.
  • The faith of believers all over the world who do their part in God’s kingdom; Romans 1:8.
  • The teaching of Christ who points us to all truth; Romans 6:17-18.

You see, it’s ok if you burn the turkey or dump a pie on the kitchen floor (already had that one happen this year). It will even be ok if one of your relatives isn’t able to be with you this year. News of riots, wars, and nuclear talk failures can't even stop thankfulness. Why? Because even in the midst of daily stresses, relationship difficulties, and world turmoil, we have much for which to be thankful. We are thankful because God reigns, He gave His Son to restore our relationship with Him, and He and His kingdom will stand victorious for all eternity.

May some of these be added to your list of thankfulness this holiday season. 

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