Thanksgiving, November 26, 2015
A Blessed and Joyful Thanksgiving Season to our friends and readers of EveryDay Life.
As you gather with family and friends, may you thankfully remember the faithfulness of God and enjoy ample provision from His hand. In this season, I am thankful to God for you and your hunger and appreciation for the practical wisdom and wonder of God’s Word. Your recommendation of EDL to family and friends have created growth far more than we would have imagined when we began writing in 2007. EveryDay Life is now read by many thousands in countries worldwide. Thank you for being part of our journey.
“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV.
God’s blessings abound in the center of God’s will.
My thoughts and comments today are about “giving thanks.”
In A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens’ novel about the French Revolution explains, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times . . It was the spring of hope; it was the winter of despair.” Life presents adversity as well as prosperity. While a young teen I remember my Father advising, “More people can stand adversity than can handle prosperity.” You can grow in either, if you keep a Godly perspective with a conviction about God’s faithfulness. In tough times, look for the lesson not the exit.
In the genealogy of our Savior, you will find a story of God’s provision and providence amid difficulty, even tragedy. Read the book of Ruth, four brief chapters but the most amazing story of God’s providence and blessing in the midst of adversity. Elimelech and Naomi experienced a famine in Bethlehem. Along with their two sons, they left Bethlehem to find a better life in Moab. Wrongly, they assumed things would be better elsewhere. Their adversity only worsened. In Moab, Elimelech died. Naomi’s sons married, but through tragic circumstances they later died also.
Naomi was alone in a foreign land with only her two Moabite daughters-in-law. That’s when she determined to return home to Bethlehem, ‘the House of bread.” I love what prompted her desire to return to Bethlehem. “In Moab she heard that the Lord had visited His people in giving them bread . . now [Naomi and Ruth] came to Bethlehem at the beginning of harvest.” Ruth 1:6/22. Home is a good place to come and harvest is always a good time to return to “the House of bread.” Whatever circumstances lured you elsewhere, being where God provides for you is paramount. God’s blessings are found and abound in the center of God’s will.
Naomi left home in a famine, but with all of her family. She returns at harvest, but with far less than when she left. When you lose those you love most, even a famine seems a small thing to endure. Her feelings were real; her assumptions were inaccurate. “I went away full . . I came back empty,” was her sad appraisal. Read Ruth 1:20-22 NKJV. Of course, she didn’t yet know what providentially awaited her return. Read Ruth 4:14-17 NKJV. However disheartening your present experience, God has so much good still awaiting you. See 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 NLT.
“Rejoice always. In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16/18 NKJV. Your blessings outnumber your troubles. Happiness doesn’t come from getting what you want; happiness is being where God wants you to be and appreciating all God has given. In tough times you learn that people and relationships matter more than things. Thanksgiving – every day- is a good time to count your blessings rather than complain.
On Thanksgiving, I pray for you to find God’s sufficiency, grateful for His grace.
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