“Guilty before God as charged.” In my heart of hearts I know this is true just as I know “giving thanks in all things to God is imperative” is also a valid statement. But, ‘Why?’ Let us begin with Paul’s statement in 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22, “Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who labor among you and preside over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them most highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, admonish the undisciplined, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient toward all. 15 See that no one pays back evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all. 16 Always rejoice, 17 constantly pray, 18 in everything give thanks. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not extinguish the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 But examine all things; hold fast to what is good. 22 Stay away from every form of evil.”
Chapter 5 is a statement from the Apostle regarding the ensuing days drawing closed the curtain of time as we know it. 1 Thessalonians is directed entirely to the coming Rapture, the event escorting the Church to Heaven before the Tribulation and, finally, God’s final judgment upon unbelievers, or the Day of the Lord. These are the biblical passages concerning the Rapture speaking of the dead in Christ rising first, while those still living will follow close behind. All believers will meet Jesus in the air to begin an eternity spent with the Lord, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.
Paul, almost breathlessly and pointedly, directs his attentions toward specific actions the local church must address.
1. Acknowledge those whom God has sent to direct and labor among you
2. Be at peace with one another.
3. Take care of the tasks as Administrators
4. Necessarily meet the needs of one another.
5. Rejoice always no matter the situation.
6. Pray consistently
Particularly understanding that God’s will for us is to give thanks for everything and we must give adamant attention toward.
Recently my attention and lack thereof, has been driven by God toward giving thanks to Him in all things. Rick Carr has written an important and inspiring book, “Extreme Gratitude” containing a chapter addressing Extreme Thanks. Rick suggests that we, indeed, must give thanks in all things, “What about the pink slip from work? Bankruptcy? What about the rebellious attitude of my children? What about my broken arm? What about that car wreck? What about divorce? What about being unjustly blamed? What about drug addiction? Adultery? What about sexual abuse? What about child abuse? What about my child’s diabetes? What about cancer? What about a global pandemic?” These are many “What abouts,” correct? Now, what about the following, “No trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear, but with the trial will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13…be reminded there is a purpose for everything that we endure and that purpose is for the Glory of our God, our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. We are to give thanks in everything.
Right now as I write these words the Nation most of those who will read this call ‘home’ is facing the greatest challenge…National Survival. God has a purpose in mind for this trial, a “Mother of all National Trials,” I suppose. Not until this very moment have I stopped to give thanks to God. And as I do, I am thinking for the first time…”This is building my character, this is building the character of our Patriots, and this is building National trust in God who created this Great Nation. “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!!”
Jesus is Lord!!