Thursday, November 22, 2007

Are You Thankful

The holiday of Thanksgiving provides us with an opportunity to ponder what we have to be thankful for. I am certain that many of us could have a long list which includes the blessings of family, friends, and health. Today I want to challenge you to give thought to what you would have to be thankful for if all that was on our lists were taken away from us. What if in a blink of an eye your life was turned upside down, like Job’s was, and everything that seemed so dear to you was gone; would you still have reason to be thankful?

It is easy to thank God for things when our lives are filled with abundance and things are relatively smooth. For all the trouble Christians have seen throughout the years we have been spared most of it. Our trouble is not coming up with reasons to be thankful, but narrowing the list to a manageable length. We have been overwhelmed by the blessings of God.

This should give us pause to consider two aspects of our lives. First, are we followers of Jesus simply because things are going well? Isn’t that the challenge Satan issued God about Job? According to Satan Job only worshiped God because God blessed Job. While that accusation was false for Job, could it be true for us?

Second, if God has blessed us with so much how should we respond? What would please God more: us saying thanks or our using His blessing to bless other people? I believe one of the ways gratitude is expressed is in how we use the gifts we have been given. Expressing gratitude is not just about saying thank you, but it is also about using the gift appropriately. How are you using the blessings God has given you?

I hope you are able to spend today with family or friends, watching a football game or two, and eating good food. I also hope that you might take a moment or two and find a quiet place and contemplate what you have been given, and how you can use those things to make a difference in this world.

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