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Give Thanks

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Give Thanks

Introduction:
The most important attitude that we will ever nurture, that we will ever exhibit, is the attitude of thanksgiving. I am more convinced of that every day.
- The attitude that makes the difference is an attitude of being thankful, of being grateful.
B. Paul, in his 1st letter to the Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “16 Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
ILLUS: There was a cartoon not long ago of a family gathered for a common meal. The father said to the mother, "I don't want to complain about leftovers but haven't we already said grace over this meal three times?"
- He didn't want to complain about leftovers...but he did. He wanted to give thanks in every thing but found that a little difficult to do.
- These verses give us three imperatives that show us if we are in God's will:
1. Rejoice ever more; 2. Pray without ceasing; 3. In everything give thanks.
- These are all great challenges, but today we will focus on the last one: “In every thing give thanks"
- What is included in “in everything?"
- First I believe we could say:

1. In All Things Obvious, Give Thanks

- So what does that mean?
- There are some good things so close at home, so obvious, that we forget to give thanks for them. We often take them for granted because they are so obvious.
A. In the second verse of chapter 1 of this letter Paul says, "We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;"
- He goes on to say "We remember...your work...your labor...your endurance."
- Paul gives thanks to God & at the same time thanks the Thessalonians for what would appear to be obvious things.
- Sometimes the obvious thing is the easiest thing to take for granted.
- The next time you recognize the following thought in your mind or you hear it as you say it aloud, stop & take notice: "It goes w/o saying."
- When it comes to thanksgiving, it does not go w/o saying.
B. Do you remember the story of the 10 lepers in Luke 17 that were healed by Jesus?
- Nine went on their way and only one came back to thank Jesus.
- That one person, a Samaritan, knew that it doesn't go w/o saying.
- The first opportunity of giving thanks in everything--and thus changing our attitudes and our lives--is to give thanks for obvious things.
- These obvious things are the people and blessings that are so close that we seem to look right past them.
Application: It is the wife who irons your shirts; It is the husband who washes the dishes; It is the School teacher who has prepared a lesson; It is the neighbor who helps you w/a heavy load; It is the food & shelter & clothing that God has provided.
- They are things that are right in our midst, yet they are things that we have come to take for granted, and because of that we have forgotten to give thanks for them.
ILLUS: A fellow went to a Biblical Conference in Madison, WI & several of the teachers were descendants of Norwegian pioneers. They like to tell stories about themselves. The Norwegians, they said, were not known for expressing their feelings very freely. One of the speakers said that he knew a Norwegian farmer, however, who loved his wife & appreciated her so much that one day he almost told her so.
D. Lets be honest, that's the way we are sometimes.
- Things are so obvious that we forget to give thanks.
- Psalm 103:2 says, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all his benefits”
Think for a moment of the benefits of being here right now: We can laugh & sing & cry & have fellowship & be encouraged all because we have come together today as the people of God.
- What benefits go unnoticed because they are too obvious?
Have you ever given thanks for the wonderful miracle of your body?
1. Have you thanked God for your eyes lately?
- It has been estimated that it would take a super computer a minimum of 100 years of time to simulate what takes place in your eye many times every second.
2. Have you thought about your noses lately?
- Suppose that your nose was on upside down.
- And if your nose was on upside down, when it rains you'd drown.
That may sound silly but do you know what's even sillier? Forgetting to give thanks to God who created this marvelous miracle called our body."
- The Bible says that we are fearfully & wonderfully made.
E. When we truly begin to thank God our thanks will spill over & we will begin to thank other people.
- We begin to thank people for what they have meant to us.
- We write a note.
- We make a phone call.
- We stop a person in our busy schedule & say, "You know, I really appreciate you."
Thanksgiving--it's not a time of the year but an attitude of the heart that changes people.
- We are to give thanks in all things obvious.
Transition: The 2nd thing included in “everything give thanks" is:

2. In All Things Obscure, Give Thanks

- Obscure? What does that mean?
- It means opportunities that are hidden, people we don't see right away, things that seem of little value until we take a closer look.
A. In Phil. 4 (passage similar to this one) Paul says, "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable...think on these things."
- This means "to take inventory", "to calculate".
- Stop & ponder.
- Think about them for a while & begin to see that these "things obscure" go beyond our casual seeing.
B. "Give thanks for those things that are true."
- That word is a wonderful word.
- It means not only that which is true in terms of truth-telling, or honest speaking, but also those things that are solid, of lasting substance.
- It is not what flitters away, is here today & gone tomorrow, but the enduring things: to give thanks for friendships that don't just blow away in tough times; to give thanks for a marriage.
ILLUS: The President of Princeton Seminary was speaking at a conference & he told about his daughter who came to him one day & said, "I've looked around & there just aren't any good marriages. I'm so discouraged. I don't want to get married."
But he gave his daughter a great response. He said, "I'll tell you one marriage that's good. It's the marriage of your mother & I." She said, "Oh, that doesn't count." And he said, "It counts."
C. And that's what I want to say, IT COUNTS!
- It counts to give thanks for those things that are true & that endure.
D. Paul says whatever things are lovely, think on those things.
- This suggests that whatever people are loveable, give thanks for them.
- There is a famous psychologist who calls some folks, "noxious people."
- They are people who seem to make us sick because they're always negative & pointing out our faults & inconsistencies & the things we've done wrong.
- But he says there are also "nourishing people" in our lives.
Give thanks for those who nourish you, who feed you, who are a part of God's gracious plan to build you up.
E. To find those things that are obscure we need to sit down & consider what God is doing in our lives.
Take a piece of paper & pen at the end of the day & think of all the ways God has worked in your life that day.
- You will find things that are obscure, things that you normally do not thank God or other people for.
- Your list might sound like this:
1. God gave me the ability to read the paper this morning.
2. God kept me safe in my travels to & from ????
3. God supplied food for me today.
4. God allowed me to laugh today.
5. God gave me the opportunity to witness today.
6. God gave me a paycheck.
7. God lets me enjoy my family & friends.
8. God gives me His Word to read & meditate upon.
9. God heard my prayers today.
- If you will truly think about your blessings at the end of the day you will find that you'll never run out of things to thank God for.
- Even in those things that are obscure, give thanks.
Transition: The 3rd thing included in Paul's statement "give thanks in everything" is:

3. In All Things Objectionable, Give Thanks

- I saved the toughest one for last.
- In all things objectionable, give thanks.
- A. "Do you mean to say I am to give thanks for this terrible problem I'm going through?"
- "Am I supposed to give thanks for this thorn in the flesh that isn't being taken from me?"
That's a tough one isn't it?
- But if we are to have an attitude of thanks that can transform the situation, we are to give thanks in all things objectionable.
B. Let's notice one thing that may help us: Paul says “in everything give thanks" he doesn't say “give thanks for everything
- There is a big difference between the two words.
- Even in the worst situation I can give thanks to God that it will not always be that way.
- Quite naturally you may say, "I'm not able to give thanks for this illness," or "I'm not able to give thanks for what this person has just done to me."
- But start here: Give thanks for the presence of God in that situation.
- Thank God that even though the circumstances are tough ones, He is still by your side.
- Thank Him that even though you had a setback, God is still able & willing to redeem the situation.
- Then there's the next step: Begin to realize that even through the worst circumstances God can work it out.
- Isn't the risen, living Christ the great reminder that even the evil of the cross can be transformed into new & exalted life?
ILLUS: I remember reading about Corrie ten Boom.
- She died not long ago after many years of serving the Lord. She and her family lived through the Nazi holocaust & they hid Jewish people in their home who would otherwise have been killed. When she herself was placed in a Nazi prison camp it was such a flea-ridden terrible place that she couldn't stand it.
- Her older sister Betsy said, "But I have found something in the Bible that will help us.
- It says, "In all things, give thanks."
- Corrie said, "I can't give thanks for the fleas."
- Betsy said, "Give thanks that we're together. Most families have been split up." Corrie thought, "I can do that."
- Her sister continued, "Give thanks that somehow the guards didn't check our belongings & our Bible is w/us."
- She gave thanks for that.
- But Corrie would not even think of giving thanks for the fleas.
- Later they found out that the only reason they were not molested or harmed by the guards was because their "captors" were so repulsed by the fleas that they wouldn't go in.
- Thank God for the fleas.
Conclusion:
- Thanksgiving is not so much a day as it is the attitude of a Christian.
- It is living our lives in the same spirit in which Jesus Christ lived His.
- Paul says "give thanks in all circumstances."
- Give thanks in all things obvious; all things obscure; and all things objectionable.
The most important attitude that we will ever nurture, that we will ever exhibit, is the attitude of thanksgiving. I am more convinced of that every day.
- The attitude that makes the difference is an attitude of being thankful, of being grateful.
B. Paul, in his 1st letter to the Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “16 Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
ILLUS: There was a cartoon not long ago of a family gathered for a common meal. The father said to the mother, "I don't want to complain about leftovers but haven't we already said grace over this meal three times?"
- He didn't want to complain about leftovers...but he did. He wanted to give thanks in every thing but found that a little difficult to do.
- These verses give us three imperatives that show us if we are in God's will:
1. Rejoice ever more; 2. Pray without ceasing; 3. In everything give thanks.
- These are all great challenges, but today we will focus on the last one: “In every thing give thanks"
- What is included in “in everything?"
- First I believe we could say:
1. In All Things Obvious, Give Thanks
- So what does that mean?
- There are some good things so close at home, so obvious, that we forget to give thanks for them. We often take them for granted because they are so obvious.
A. In the second verse of chapter 1 of this letter Paul says, "We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;"
- He goes on to say "We remember...your work...your labor...your endurance."
- Paul gives thanks to God & at the same time thanks the Thessalonians for what would appear to be obvious things.
- Sometimes the obvious thing is the easiest thing to take for granted.
- The next time you recognize the following thought in your mind or you hear it as you say it aloud, stop & take notice: "It goes w/o saying."
- When it comes to thanksgiving, it does not go w/o saying.
B. Do you remember the story of the 10 lepers in Luke 17 that were healed by Jesus?
- Nine went on their way and only one came back to thank Jesus.
- That one person, a Samaritan, knew that it doesn't go w/o saying.
- The first opportunity of giving thanks in everything--and thus changing our attitudes and our lives--is to give thanks for obvious things.
- These obvious things are the people and blessings that are so close that we seem to look right past them.
Application: It is the wife who irons your shirts; It is the husband who washes the dishes; It is the School teacher who has prepared a lesson; It is the neighbor who helps you w/a heavy load; It is the food & shelter & clothing that God has provided.
- They are things that are right in our midst, yet they are things that we have come to take for granted, and because of that we have forgotten to give thanks for them.
ILLUS: A fellow went to a Biblical Conference in Madison, WI & several of the teachers were descendants of Norwegian pioneers. They like to tell stories about themselves. The Norwegians, they said, were not known for expressing their feelings very freely. One of the speakers said that he knew a Norwegian farmer, however, who loved his wife & appreciated her so much that one day he almost told her so.
D. Lets be honest, that's the way we are sometimes.
- Things are so obvious that we forget to give thanks.
- Psalm 103:2 says, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all his benefits”
Think for a moment of the benefits of being here right now: We can laugh & sing & cry & have fellowship & be encouraged all because we have come together today as the people of God.
- What benefits go unnoticed because they are too obvious?
Have you ever given thanks for the wonderful miracle of your body?
1. Have you thanked God for your eyes lately?
- It has been estimated that it would take a super computer a minimum of 100 years of time to simulate what takes place in your eye many times every second.
2. Have you thought about your noses lately?
- Suppose that your nose was on upside down.
- And if your nose was on upside down, when it rains you'd drown.
That may sound silly but do you know what's even sillier? Forgetting to give thanks to God who created this marvelous miracle called our body."
- The Bible says that we are fearfully & wonderfully made.
E. When we truly begin to thank God our thanks will spill over & we will begin to thank other people.
- We begin to thank people for what they have meant to us.
- We write a note.
- We make a phone call.
- We stop a person in our busy schedule & say, "You know, I really appreciate you."
Thanksgiving--it's not a time of the year but an attitude of the heart that changes people.
- We are to give thanks in all things obvious.
Transition: The 2nd thing included in “everything give thanks" is:
2. In All Things Obscure, Give Thanks
- Obscure? What does that mean?
- It means opportunities that are hidden, people we don't see right away, things that seem of little value until we take a closer look.
A. In Phil. 4 (passage similar to this one) Paul says, "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable...think on these things."
- This means "to take inventory", "to calculate".
- Stop & ponder.
- Think about them for a while & begin to see that these "things obscure" go beyond our casual seeing.
B. "Give thanks for those things that are true."
- That word is a wonderful word.
- It means not only that which is true in terms of truth-telling, or honest speaking, but also those things that are solid, of lasting substance.
- It is not what flitters away, is here today & gone tomorrow, but the enduring things: to give thanks for friendships that don't just blow away in tough times; to give thanks for a marriage.
ILLUS: The President of Princeton Seminary was speaking at a conference & he told about his daughter who came to him one day & said, "I've looked around & there just aren't any good marriages. I'm so discouraged. I don't want to get married."
But he gave his daughter a great response. He said, "I'll tell you one marriage that's good. It's the marriage of your mother & I." She said, "Oh, that doesn't count." And he said, "It counts."
C. And that's what I want to say, IT COUNTS!
- It counts to give thanks for those things that are true & that endure.
D. Paul says whatever things are lovely, think on those things.
- This suggests that whatever people are loveable, give thanks for them.
- There is a famous psychologist who calls some folks, "noxious people."
- They are people who seem to make us sick because they're always negative & pointing out our faults & inconsistencies & the things we've done wrong.
- But he says there are also "nourishing people" in our lives.
Give thanks for those who nourish you, who feed you, who are a part of God's gracious plan to build you up.
E. To find those things that are obscure we need to sit down & consider what God is doing in our lives.
Take a piece of paper & pen at the end of the day & think of all the ways God has worked in your life that day.
- You will find things that are obscure, things that you normally do not thank God or other people for.
- Your list might sound like this:
1. God gave me the ability to read the paper this morning.
2. God kept me safe in my travels to & from ????
3. God supplied food for me today.
4. God allowed me to laugh today.
5. God gave me the opportunity to witness today.
6. God gave me a paycheck.
7. God lets me enjoy my family & friends.
8. God gives me His Word to read & meditate upon.
9. God heard my prayers today.
- If you will truly think about your blessings at the end of the day you will find that you'll never run out of things to thank God for.
- Even in those things that are obscure, give thanks.
Transition: The 3rd thing included in Paul's statement "give thanks in everything" is:
3. In All Things Objectionable, Give Thanks
- I saved the toughest one for last.
- In all things objectionable, give thanks.
- A. "Do you mean to say I am to give thanks for this terrible problem I'm going through?"
- "Am I supposed to give thanks for this thorn in the flesh that isn't being taken from me?"
That's a tough one isn't it?
- But if we are to have an attitude of thanks that can transform the situation, we are to give thanks in all things objectionable.
B. Let's notice one thing that may help us: Paul says “in everything give thanks" he doesn't say “give thanks for everything
- There is a big difference between the two words.
- Even in the worst situation I can give thanks to God that it will not always be that way.
- Quite naturally you may say, "I'm not able to give thanks for this illness," or "I'm not able to give thanks for what this person has just done to me."
- But start here: Give thanks for the presence of God in that situation.
- Thank God that even though the circumstances are tough ones, He is still by your side.
- Thank Him that even though you had a setback, God is still able & willing to redeem the situation.
- Then there's the next step: Begin to realize that even through the worst circumstances God can work it out.
- Isn't the risen, living Christ the great reminder that even the evil of the cross can be transformed into new & exalted life?
ILLUS: I remember reading about Corrie ten Boom.
- She died not long ago after many years of serving the Lord. She and her family lived through the Nazi holocaust & they hid Jewish people in their home who would otherwise have been killed. When she herself was placed in a Nazi prison camp it was such a flea-ridden terrible place that she couldn't stand it.
- Her older sister Betsy said, "But I have found something in the Bible that will help us.
- It says, "In all things, give thanks."
- Corrie said, "I can't give thanks for the fleas."
- Betsy said, "Give thanks that we're together. Most families have been split up." Corrie thought, "I can do that."
- Her sister continued, "Give thanks that somehow the guards didn't check our belongings & our Bible is w/us."
- She gave thanks for that.
- But Corrie would not even think of giving thanks for the fleas.
- Later they found out that the only reason they were not molested or harmed by the guards was because their "captors" were so repulsed by the fleas that they wouldn't go in.
- Thank God for the fleas.
Conclusion:
- Thanksgiving is not so much a day as it is the attitude of a Christian.
- It is living our lives in the same spirit in which Jesus Christ lived His.
- Paul says "give thanks in all circumstances."
- Give thanks in all things obvious; all things obscure; and all things objectionable.
Introduction:
The most important attitude that we will ever nurture, that we will ever exhibit, is the attitude of thanksgiving. I am more convinced of that every day.
- The attitude that makes the difference is an attitude of being thankful, of being grateful.
B. Paul, in his 1st letter to the Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “16 Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
ILLUS: There was a cartoon not long ago of a family gathered for a common meal. The father said to the mother, "I don't want to complain about leftovers but haven't we already said grace over this meal three times?"
- He didn't want to complain about leftovers...but he did. He wanted to give thanks in every thing but found that a little difficult to do.
- These verses give us three imperatives that show us if we are in God's will:
1. Rejoice ever more; 2. Pray without ceasing; 3. In everything give thanks.
- These are all great challenges, but today we will focus on the last one: “In every thing give thanks"
- What is included in “in everything?"
- First I believe we could say:
1. In All Things Obvious, Give Thanks
- So what does that mean?
- There are some good things so close at home, so obvious, that we forget to give thanks for them. We often take them for granted because they are so obvious.
A. In the second verse of chapter 1 of this letter Paul says, "We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;"
- He goes on to say "We remember...your work...your labor...your endurance."
- Paul gives thanks to God & at the same time thanks the Thessalonians for what would appear to be obvious things.
- Sometimes the obvious thing is the easiest thing to take for granted.
- The next time you recognize the following thought in your mind or you hear it as you say it aloud, stop & take notice: "It goes w/o saying."
- When it comes to thanksgiving, it does not go w/o saying.
B. Do you remember the story of the 10 lepers in Luke 17 that were healed by Jesus?
- Nine went on their way and only one came back to thank Jesus.
- That one person, a Samaritan, knew that it doesn't go w/o saying.
- The first opportunity of giving thanks in everything--and thus changing our attitudes and our lives--is to give thanks for obvious things.
- These obvious things are the people and blessings that are so close that we seem to look right past them.
Application: It is the wife who irons your shirts; It is the husband who washes the dishes; It is the School teacher who has prepared a lesson; It is the neighbor who helps you w/a heavy load; It is the food & shelter & clothing that God has provided.
- They are things that are right in our midst, yet they are things that we have come to take for granted, and because of that we have forgotten to give thanks for them.
ILLUS: A fellow went to a Biblical Conference in Madison, WI & several of the teachers were descendants of Norwegian pioneers. They like to tell stories about themselves. The Norwegians, they said, were not known for expressing their feelings very freely. One of the speakers said that he knew a Norwegian farmer, however, who loved his wife & appreciated her so much that one day he almost told her so.
D. Lets be honest, that's the way we are sometimes.
- Things are so obvious that we forget to give thanks.
- Psalm 103:2 says, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all his benefits”
Think for a moment of the benefits of being here right now: We can laugh & sing & cry & have fellowship & be encouraged all because we have come together today as the people of God.
- What benefits go unnoticed because they are too obvious?
Have you ever given thanks for the wonderful miracle of your body?
1. Have you thanked God for your eyes lately?
- It has been estimated that it would take a super computer a minimum of 100 years of time to simulate what takes place in your eye many times every second.
2. Have you thought about your noses lately?
- Suppose that your nose was on upside down.
- And if your nose was on upside down, when it rains you'd drown.
That may sound silly but do you know what's even sillier? Forgetting to give thanks to God who created this marvelous miracle called our body."
- The Bible says that we are fearfully & wonderfully made.
E. When we truly begin to thank God our thanks will spill over & we will begin to thank other people.
- We begin to thank people for what they have meant to us.
- We write a note.
- We make a phone call.
- We stop a person in our busy schedule & say, "You know, I really appreciate you."
Thanksgiving--it's not a time of the year but an attitude of the heart that changes people.
- We are to give thanks in all things obvious.
Transition: The 2nd thing included in “everything give thanks" is:
2. In All Things Obscure, Give Thanks
- Obscure? What does that mean?
- It means opportunities that are hidden, people we don't see right away, things that seem of little value until we take a closer look.
A. In Phil. 4 (passage similar to this one) Paul says, "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable...think on these things."
- This means "to take inventory", "to calculate".
- Stop & ponder.
- Think about them for a while & begin to see that these "things obscure" go beyond our casual seeing.
B. "Give thanks for those things that are true."
- That word is a wonderful word.
- It means not only that which is true in terms of truth-telling, or honest speaking, but also those things that are solid, of lasting substance.
- It is not what flitters away, is here today & gone tomorrow, but the enduring things: to give thanks for friendships that don't just blow away in tough times; to give thanks for a marriage.
ILLUS: The President of Princeton Seminary was speaking at a conference & he told about his daughter who came to him one day & said, "I've looked around & there just aren't any good marriages. I'm so discouraged. I don't want to get married."
But he gave his daughter a great response. He said, "I'll tell you one marriage that's good. It's the marriage of your mother & I." She said, "Oh, that doesn't count." And he said, "It counts."
C. And that's what I want to say, IT COUNTS!
- It counts to give thanks for those things that are true & that endure.
D. Paul says whatever things are lovely, think on those things.
- This suggests that whatever people are loveable, give thanks for them.
- There is a famous psychologist who calls some folks, "noxious people."
- They are people who seem to make us sick because they're always negative & pointing out our faults & inconsistencies & the things we've done wrong.
- But he says there are also "nourishing people" in our lives.
Give thanks for those who nourish you, who feed you, who are a part of God's gracious plan to build you up.
E. To find those things that are obscure we need to sit down & consider what God is doing in our lives.
Take a piece of paper & pen at the end of the day & think of all the ways God has worked in your life that day.
- You will find things that are obscure, things that you normally do not thank God or other people for.
- Your list might sound like this:
1. God gave me the ability to read the paper this morning.
2. God kept me safe in my travels to & from ????
3. God supplied food for me today.
4. God allowed me to laugh today.
5. God gave me the opportunity to witness today.
6. God gave me a paycheck.
7. God lets me enjoy my family & friends.
8. God gives me His Word to read & meditate upon.
9. God heard my prayers today.
- If you will truly think about your blessings at the end of the day you will find that you'll never run out of things to thank God for.
- Even in those things that are obscure, give thanks.
Transition: The 3rd thing included in Paul's statement "give thanks in everything" is:
3. In All Things Objectionable, Give Thanks
- I saved the toughest one for last.
- In all things objectionable, give thanks.
- A. "Do you mean to say I am to give thanks for this terrible problem I'm going through?"
- "Am I supposed to give thanks for this thorn in the flesh that isn't being taken from me?"
That's a tough one isn't it?
- But if we are to have an attitude of thanks that can transform the situation, we are to give thanks in all things objectionable.
B. Let's notice one thing that may help us: Paul says “in everything give thanks" he doesn't say “give thanks for everything
- There is a big difference between the two words.
- Even in the worst situation I can give thanks to God that it will not always be that way.
- Quite naturally you may say, "I'm not able to give thanks for this illness," or "I'm not able to give thanks for what this person has just done to me."
- But start here: Give thanks for the presence of God in that situation.
- Thank God that even though the circumstances are tough ones, He is still by your side.
- Thank Him that even though you had a setback, God is still able & willing to redeem the situation.
- Then there's the next step: Begin to realize that even through the worst circumstances God can work it out.
- Isn't the risen, living Christ the great reminder that even the evil of the cross can be transformed into new & exalted life?
ILLUS: I remember reading about Corrie ten Boom.
- She died not long ago after many years of serving the Lord. She and her family lived through the Nazi holocaust & they hid Jewish people in their home who would otherwise have been killed. When she herself was placed in a Nazi prison camp it was such a flea-ridden terrible place that she couldn't stand it.
- Her older sister Betsy said, "But I have found something in the Bible that will help us.
- It says, "In all things, give thanks."
- Corrie said, "I can't give thanks for the fleas."
- Betsy said, "Give thanks that we're together. Most families have been split up." Corrie thought, "I can do that."
- Her sister continued, "Give thanks that somehow the guards didn't check our belongings & our Bible is w/us."
- She gave thanks for that.
- But Corrie would not even think of giving thanks for the fleas.
- Later they found out that the only reason they were not molested or harmed by the guards was because their "captors" were so repulsed by the fleas that they wouldn't go in.
- Thank God for the fleas.
Conclusion:
- Thanksgiving is not so much a day as it is the attitude of a Christian.
- It is living our lives in the same spirit in which Jesus Christ lived His.
- Paul says "give thanks in all circumstances."
- Give thanks in all things obvious; all things obscure; and all things objectionable.
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