Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Gratitude

America's yearly scramble is on. This is the day we are supposed to "stop and give thanks", but how often does it turn out to be a "pat your self on the back" session. Worldly 'gratitude' is usually shallow at best and mostly hypocritical, giving credit for our "good fortune" to #1 with perhaps a cursory mention of some supposed deity contrived in the mind. A sad exercise that most see as absolving them from any further displays of thanksgiving until next year on the fourth Thursday of November.

This is not (should not) be the case for the born again. The giving of thanks to our God, our Redeemer, is a never ending flow of sometimes inexpressible thought for what He has done for us. He "has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ." He has humbled Himself by taking on human flesh in order to be the proper, complete, and all sufficient sacrifice for our sins (Phil. 2:5-8). He was raised from the dead for our justification (Rom. 4:25). He has seated us with Himself in the heavenly places at the right hand of His Father (Eph. 1:20 & 2:6). We are "in Him" and He is "in us" (John 17:23). Our sins are forgiven; we are new creatures in Christ; His Spirit dwells within us as the guarantee of our eternal destiny. He gave us eternal life. He has made us His own inheritance.

The list is indeed endless, as should our praise to Him, our gratitude toward Him, and our humility before Him should be---endless and eternal. Temporal afflictions and/or blessings pale in comparison to the spiritual blessings afforded us in Christ. This is not to downplay the severity of our trials and the chastening sent our way by the Father; it's a matter of right perspective in the midst of them. But do not all such trials "yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness" (Heb. 12:11)? When the trial is over and the dust has settled would we, if we could, go back and change the circumstances? Negate the trial all together? Would we trade the intimate blessing of the Lord afforded us in the middle of our difficulty, our moment by moment walk with Him, the teaching of His Spirit that indeed all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose, the comfort of the Comforter through it all? The thought may flash through the mind in a moment, but no sane person would trade the blessings of God Almighty for the trinkets of this world. It would be like Esau trading his birthright for a bowl of food. The prophets complained; Job complained; Christ did not. It is our 'old nature' that does the complaining; it is our new nature that gives thanks to God in all things; and how often does our old nature rule us?---too often!

"In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

May the Lord help to do just that!

1 comment:

lyn said...

Amen and Amen!!! Let us give thanks, with our WHOLE HEART, to a great, merciful, gracious God that has elected to save such vile wretches.