The path of the just is as the shining light,…
Thanksgiving, Faith and Personal Joy
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
Phil 4:6-7 NKJ
How does a daisy grow? How does a pine cone turn into a tree? What has to be in place for the sun to rise every morning, set every evening, and all the while stay in the perfect position throughout the day? These are only a few of an infinite number of questions that we can’t answer yet we all accept these things to be so.
So why is it so difficult for some to accept that there is a Creator that, just as He made a daisy, He has also made a way for us to receive daily blessings and then ultimately spend eternity with Him?
Many people strive to maintain the illusion of control that they think they have on life. They think they are bigger, wiser, stronger than the vast forces of the universe and in the words of Frank Sinatra they try to do it “My Way“.
On the other hand, for those in relationship with the Messiah, everyday can be a day of Thanksgiving. We can even be thankful in the midst of problems knowing that as we are experiencing challenges, we are not alone. The Apostle Paul said, “I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation”. He knew that, because he loved Jesus, God was working all things together for His good.
Problems will certainly come your way, satan may come against you, but as you trust in God, He will personally see to it that you grow through your experiences if you do your part. He will allow the storms, in order to send your roots deep into His rich soil.
It’s been well said that you will see more from your knees, than you will on your tip toes.
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
A man once watched a butterfly struggling to get out of its cocoon. In an effort to help it, he took a razor blade, and carefully slit the edge of the cocoon. The butterfly escaped from its problem . . . and immediately died. It is God’s way to have the butterfly struggle. It is the struggle that causes its tiny heart to beat fast, and send the life’s blood into its wings.
God doesn’t do anything to hurt His creation. But He does use life’s trials to strengthen us: They cause us struggle — they take us to our knees. They are the cocoon in which we often find ourselves. It is there that the life’s blood of faith in God helps us to spread our wings.
Faith and thanksgiving are close friends. Yahweh God will keep His promises. As you are faithful to Him, know that His loving hand is upon you, even though you are in a lion’s den. In that way, you can have that deep sense of joy, even in the midst of trials, that true contentment brings.
Imagine if someone said they would give you one million dollars if you sent them an email. Imagine further that you had knowledge of more than 1,000 people who had sent that person an email, and every one received their million dollars — no strings attached. More than that; you had actually called the person, and they had assured you personally that they would keep their word. If you believed the person, wouldn’t you have joy? Of course you would. But if you didn’t believe the person — no joy.
Remember that joy is not necessarily happiness. Paul and Silas had joy in the jail but I doubt they were particularly happy about the situation: It wouldn’t have been their first choice.
The amount of joy you have can be a barometer as to how much faith you release in the promises of God; even during trials and tribulation.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in
Messiah Yeshua concerning you.
1 Thess 5:18
We have so much to be thankful for. Yahweh God has given us “exceeding great and precious promises” that are “more to be desired than gold.” Do yourself a big favor — believe those promises, thank Him continually for them, that “your joy may be full.”
Parson Rayphe, Dr.