“In Everything Give Thanks”, by Pastor John Enabnit
Jim and Bob bumped into each other on the street one day. Bob looked like he was on the verge of tears.
“What in the world is wrong with you, old friend?” Jim asked.
“Let me tell you,” the sad fellow replied. “Just three weeks ago, an uncle died and left me $40,000.”
“Wow, that’s a lot of money!” Jim said.
Bob continued, “But then, two weeks ago, a cousin I never knew died and left me $85,000.”
“Sounds like you’ve really been blessed!” replied Jim.
“You don’t understand!” Bob interrupted. “Last week my great-aunt passed away, and I inherited $250,000.”
Now his friend was thoroughly confused. “Then why on Earth do you look so glum?”
Bob said, “This week…nothing!”
That’s the trouble with regularly receiving blessings. Even a gift, when given regularly, becomes an expected thing.
In this Thanksgiving season, do you realize how blessed we are? We’ve been given so much in so many ways. And yet, how often do we truly pause to give thanks to anyone for anything?
Philippians 4:6 reminds us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Pray to God about what concerns you, what troubles you, and what you desire. But in everything, give thanks.
In everything? Yes, in everything! If you’d like a few starting suggestions, here’s a breakdown for you.
In Everything Obvious, Give Thanks
Some blessings in life are so obvious, and yet we forget to give thanks for them. The apostle Paul was grateful for the support of the church in Philippi. He wrote to them, “I thank God every time I think of you” (Philippians 1:3).
The next time you find yourself thinking, “I could say thanks, but it goes without saying,” realize that when it comes to giving thanks, it doesn’t always go without saying. You should find every occasion an opportunity to say “thank you” to someone.
Remember the ten lepers Jesus healed? How many came back to give thanks to Him for this miracle? One. That one person, a Samaritan, knew that it didn’t go without saying.
Psalm 100 reminds us to give thanks for God’s benefits. I challenge you to thank Him for one thing every day over the next 30 days.
What are the obvious things we don’t give thanks for? Here’s one example: Somebody in your life has meant a lot to you. Have you picked up the phone lately or written a note of gratitude? Your note might say, “You know, I really appreciate you” Give thanks for the obvious things.
In Everything Objectionable, Give Thanks
This is much tougher, but we’re to give thanks even in difficult times.
Corrie Ten Boom and her sister, Betsy, lived through the Nazi holocaust. Because they hid Jewish people in their home, they were eventually arrested and placed in a Nazi prison camp. It was such a terrible, flea-ridden place that Corrie broke down and began to give up on life.
Her sister said, “I’ve found something in the Bible that will help us. It says, ‘In everything, give thanks.’”
Corrie replied, “I can’t give thanks for fleas!”
Betsy said, “But you can give thanks that somehow the guards don’t check our belongings, and that our Bible is with us.”
Corrie gave thanks for those things—but she still couldn’t begin to fathom giving thanks for fleas.
Later, they found out the reason the guards hadn’t molested them and inspected their belongings. The men were so repulsed by the fleas that they would not go in the women’s barracks. Give thanks even for the fleas!
God can take the worst of circumstances and bring about the best. Think of Joseph, sold into slavery by his brothers. What a despicable thing to do! Later, through a miraculous series of events, Joseph became prime minister over Egypt, second in command only to Pharaoh.
Because of his high position, Joseph was able to save his brothers and their families from a worldwide famine. When Joseph eventually revealed his identity to them, his brothers were terrified that he would exact revenge for what they had done to him. But he reassured them, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20).
Finally, o you know the ultimate reason why we can believe that God can bring good out of bad? Look at the cross of Christ. When men had done their worst to the Son of God by crucifying Him, God brought about our forgiveness and redemption. The cross became the ultimate means by which we can give thanks in everything.
I’ll repeat this one last time, because it never goes without saying. In everything, give thanks!
Thank you for reading this guest blog entry, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Tuesday night Bible study. These studies are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 6:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 313-209-8800. Our PIN is 8699032. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.