Our world is in a mess.
The plague of COVID and its variants continue to ravage the entire globe, with no end in sight. We watch online as hurricanes, flooding, and earthquakes devastate some nations, while drought and starvation destroy others. War and terrorism threaten on every side. And if that is not enough, our own nation is greatly divided by politics, race, and even religion.
But we really should not be surprised. After all, Jesus warned His followers of what was to come:
Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows (Matthew 24:4-8, KJV).
So, whether or not we really believe this is “the beginning of sorrows,” the question still remains: how in the world will we be able to survive, much less thrive, in the days to come?
We won’t – unless, through the power of the Holy Spirit living in us, we study and heed the Word of God. For as the Apostle Peter so aptly stated, He alone has the words of life.
I pondered that crucial truth this weekend as our pastor aptly reminded us that in everything we are to give thanks unto God for that is the will of God concerning each of us.
And again this morning, I saw the power of thankfulness demonstrated as I read a Facebook post from my brother. This is what he wrote about the tragedy in Afghanistan:
“Today, I had a gut check. For some time now I’ve been worrying about the odds and ends of life. My life. My future. My family. My career. But then I saw a video of a desperate man falling from the side of a USAF C-17 cargo plane – because he so desperately wanted what I already have.”
Wow! We each have the very thing that someone, somewhere, is desperately praying for – freedom, safety, health, and even daily provision. We have exactly what others long to possess. And beyond that, we have Jesus, and He is more than enough.
So what are we waiting for? Let’s thank Him!
Let’s thank God for our own salvation, the salvation of our family members, and the salvation of others we know and love. Then let’s look around and realize that every single human on the planet is deeply loved by our Father. So let us thank Him for the opportunity to share His loving offer of salvation with one of those people today.
While we are at it, let’s thank God for our own loved ones. If we go through life with one soul beside us, we are blessed. But think of all the people who love us and are loved by us. Thank Him for those people. And thank God for giving us the opportunity to care for even more people with the love of Christ.
Let’s not forget to thank Him for food and clothing, for the blessings of safety and shelter. And let’s thank Him for clean water that runs directly out of a faucet every single time we turn it on, hot or cold. Think of all the people in the world who have never seen a bathtub, much less taken a hot, relaxing bath every single day. Thank Him for that privilege.
We should definitely thank Him for our freedom as Americans. We take it for granted, and sadly, it might not be available to us tomorrow. So let’s thank God for liberty, and thank Him for helping us see godly ways to stand and protect our freedoms. And let’s thank Him for showing us how to be worthy of the freedoms He has given us, the same freedom that others in our world are willing to die for.
And of course, we must thank God for life and breath, for waking up to serve Him one more day. In the past months of the pandemic, we have seen way too many people struggling to catch one more breath. We have witnessed so much death that we sadly have a much better understanding of the precious brevity of life. So let us thank Him for each breath we breathe.
Most of all, may we all remember that no matter what tomorrow holds, it is not just a cliché to say that we know who holds tomorrow. For He is truly the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. And as His children, we can testify of His faithfulness. We know that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Yes, let us thank God from whom all of our blessings flow. For if we do so, if we keep a heart of thankfulness, then we will find ourselves smack dab in the middle of God’s will for our lives. And there is no safer place than that in these difficult days.
So, hallelujah, let us thank God, for in Him, all is well!