Monday, December 5, 2011

Whether Yes or No or More or Less – Give Thanks to God

      There is much that each person can do for himself and much that one can get only from others. And when he gets something from others he should certainly acknowledge it and be grateful.
 In Luke 17:10-19 Jesus told a story in which nine out of ten did not even say thanks for a great gift of healing – from leprosy. All ten had the same problem, all asked for and received mercy and help, all were healed and cleansed. All received the same charge. All should have made the same acknowledgment of gratitude. Nine failed.
     Humans do not seem to be  “naturally” grateful. Not to parents. Not to each other. Not even to God.
     For what should a Christian thank God? For every good thing, for every YES answer to a prayer. Can one be thankful for burdens and troubles, hardships? Perhaps not for the thing itself, but certainly for the lessons learned, and more than that, for the strength God supplies so one can keep the faith even in difficult times. If nothing else, trouble can open one’s eyes to his need for God.
     Here are a few things you may not have thought of, for which you owe God thanks.
– If you have more health than illness, thank God. Millions of people will not survive this week.
– Hundreds of millions have endured
battle, imprisonment, and the pangs of starvation  this year. Thank God if you are not one of them.
– If you can meet in the name of God for worship without fear of harassment, persecution, loss of possessions or loss of life, you are more blessed than three billion others in the world. Thank God.
– If you have enough food, a safe shelter, a little money in the bank, and do not have to worry about whether you will have those things tomorrow, you are better off than 92% of the people in the world.
– No matter what you age, if your parents are still alive and married to each other, you are in a very select minority.
– If you hold up your head and smile and are truly thankful, whether you have little or much, you are a true blessing. Almost everybody can, but most do not. 

- via The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Dongola church of Christ, Dongola, IL.  Gerald Cowan serves the congregation as minister.  He may be contacted at 

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