Temple Baptist Church - 11-24-2019
1 Thessalonians 5:18
A. This is one of those verses that has been greatly mis-understood because of casually looking at the verse and making a wrong interpretation. A wrong interpretation makes for a wrong application. The key to the verse is the word “in.” The Bible does not say that we are to be thankful “for” everything but “in” everything.
B. Just exactly is Thanksgiving?
1. Thanksgiving Is A Sign Of Realization - James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
2. Thanksgiving Is A Sign Of Acceptance - 1 Timothy 6:6-8 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
3. Thanksgiving Is A Sign Of Gratitude - Matthew 6:31-33 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
C. We can trust Him to supply our every need as they come - Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
D. This is one of the tough verses in the Bible, but one of the most blessed when we get a hold on it. If Romans 8:28 is in the Bible and means what it says (and we know that it is and does), then God is guiding us and giving us each day that which is pleasing to Him and beneficial to us! 1 Thessalonians 5:18 is also in the Bible and means what it says. In the worst of situations, there is still much to thank the Lord for.
E. I have so often said that life is hard and disappointments come often. There are so many things that we do not and cannot understand and, at that point, have to learn to trust the Lord with them. I believe that we need to do the best that we can and then trust God with that which we cannot do. The great Apostle Paul said that he had learned contentment in spite of his circumstances.
F. In spite of all that seems bad, there is so much that we need to be thankful for:
1. Our great salvation that we cannot lose! Saved by Grace! Saved forever! Billions will die without Christ and we are saved and heaven bound.
2. Our great temporal blessings that we have come to expect! Our homes! Our food! Our clothing! Our freedom! Our transportation! Most of the world has nothing and we have everything.
3. Our wonderful health that we too often take for granted! We are not in the hospital tonight! We are not in the care of hospice tonight! We are not at home and in bed sick tonight! I feel good and am blessed with good health!
4. Our wonderful church! Good churches are both special and scarce. The unity and peace that permeates the church tonight! A place where we feel at home. A place where the Bible is still upheld and preached. A place where our children can get to know the truth without compromise. A place of prayer where we lift up each other as well as or lost family and friends. A place where we meet missionaries and have a small part of their ministries around the world.
5. Our blessed hope! This present evil world is not our home! One day just like today and it could be today, we will be finally and eternally home. We will not see all of the bad things come to end in our days upon this earth as things progressively get worse but we will one day see God remove the sin and restore the earth back to what it once was in the days prior to Adam’s sin.
6. Our settled peace! I do not know what lies on tomorrow nor do I want to know. I do not want the knowledge of tomorrow destroy the peace that today holds. But I am so glad that I know Who holds tomorrow and Who will hold my hand and walk with me through it!
Conclusion: I did not make a long list but just wanted us to know that we have much to be thankful for in the midst of hard times. “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you!”