Being Thankful (Colossians 1:3-4)

Thanksgiving is an important aspect of everyone’s life. If we stop for a moment and think, our hearts and minds will begin to touch upon those things for which we can give thanks.
The apostle, Paul, identified two things for which he gave thanks for the believers at Colosse: for their faith in Christ and their love towards the Saints. He wasn’t listing things that he received or benefits that he would experience. Paul was thankful for what he saw God doing in their lives.

We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, (Colossians 1:3-4)

Stop and think for a minute. Each of the things that you give thanks, aren’t they really the results of God working in your life. The promotion at work, you stopped and gave thanks to God. The child that was born, you gave thanks to God. The long sought after answer to prayer, you too gave thanks to God. For each situation where you saw God’s hand moved, you stopped and give thanks.

Are there any situations in your life where God is not moving? If he is sovereign – and he is – he is working in every situation in your life: both the good and the bad. The death of a parent, the unexpected layoff at work, the trip to the emergency room are just examples of times when God was working when he didn’t appear to be.

If we give thanks when we see God’s hand working in our lives and God is working in everything for our good, then we should be giving thanks to God for everything. 

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

It is only when you see God working in everything that in everything, you will give thanks

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Seemingly Senseless Death

Just recently, a young woman was killed in an auto accident. As people struggle with accepting and dealing with this issue thoughts come to mind as to why a loving God would allow something as terrible as this to happen. There are many derelicts in society who have no care for their welfare or the welfare of others and these individuals continue to live without recompense for their actions and yet this young person loses her life. To many or maybe in fact most people, it just does not seem fair.

Our Christian belief tells us to believe that God is good and he is in control. In times like these, it is very difficult to accept, but in an attempt to provide explanation in support of God, I offer these few thoughts.

From the time even before people are born, God works through circumstances in an attempt to bring each of us into a relationship with him. The circumstances that he uses involves people that he created. The greatest problem with using people is that they have fallen away from their first or innocent state and into sin. As sinners, man’s heart is in rebellion to God and resists his will that he presses upon them. Because of this, people do not cooperate with God as he strives to use them in his plan for others. Therefore, God must use these people as they willfully chose to live their lives and in this manner as instruments to work and fulfill his plan. Because of this, God may use the good and bad actions actions of man to accomplish his plan.

As an artist chips away at a large piece of granite, God chips away at our hearts to make us into what he has planned for us to be. It is only when this is accomplished that we will be satisfied with life and this satisfaction comes by knowing him.

How does God mold us into the masterpiece of his design? He accomplishes it by allowing things to happen in our lives that are intended to change our view of him. Sometimes these views are joyous and pleasant such as when a child is born. As people hold a newly born child, God speaks to their heart for the purpose of showing them that they were created by a magnificent God and are not the product of a protein anomaly that continued to occur through evolution. There are countless good things that happen in life and God uses them to bring man to himself.

There are other times when God allows things to occur in life that are intended to show man that life is greater than he can handle and he must look for aid outside of himself. In other words, he must look to God. This is by far one of the most difficult accomplishments, because man is filled with pride. Man wants to be independent and live independently. Pride was the first sin to occur and it is at the root of all other sins. Only when man loses pride and recognizes his inability and looks to his created for dependency can he enter into a relationship with him and begin to become the master piece that he was designed to be. How does God bring man to this point? Sadly to say, it takes tragedy to bring us to God. It takes the deepest of heart aches before a heart considers and turns to God. God is not unloving when he allows tragedies to occur, it is the complete opposite. It is because of his love that he allows them and only by them will man finally turn to God. Tragedies may be auto accidents, terminal illnesses, divorce, abandonment and even various forms of abuse. God does not stop mankind from hurting itself and he has never promised he would, but he has promised to be with man in his affliction and to be an aid to him if he turns to God for deliverance. (Isaiah 63:9) It is through these unwanted circumstances that God will perform his work of making us a master piece of his creation.

This work of love does not end when man eventually turns to his God and enters into a relationship through salvation. It is the first of many times that God will continue to allow molding circumstances to come into our lives. These circumstance are intended to continually reveal the nature of God to man and as we better know and understand him, we become a greater master piece of his creation and enjoy life more fully.

In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. (Isaiah 63:9)

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

If you would like to read more of these thoughts in a hard copy format, my new book is now available at the link below.

https://www.createspace.com/4441566

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