Temple Baptist Church - 11-20-2022
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. There are a lot of things in this world that I am not thankful for!
1. I am not thankful for the sin that destroys the lives of people. As I look around, I see people who have been murdered, raped, robbed, and otherwise mistreated and these things bring a sorrow to my heart.
2. I am not thankful for the sin that is bringing this nation to its knees. The sin of rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ and His precious Word that can change things for the better. Our nation is almost gone spiritually.
3. I am not thankful for those of our church family that have been sick or died. These are people that we loved; these are people who were and still are our family; these are people that will forever remain in our hearts and minds; these are people greatly missed.
4. I am not thankful for the disease of cancer that has affected so many of our loved ones. I watch and pray as they battle this terrible disease. I wish that the cause be learned, and a cure discovered for it.
5. I am not thankful for the people who once worshipped with us are no longer here. What a blessing it would have been if they had all remained right with the Lord and stayed. So much more could have been done for missions; so much more could have been done for our city and county; so much more done to win souls to Christ.
6. The list could go on, but I believe that you get the point. We are not to be thankful “for” all things. Some things righteously anger us. Be angry and sin not. This tells me that we are to be angered about some things. Some things sadden us, and we wish with all of our hearts that we could change them but we cannot.
C. This is one of the tough verses in the Bible, but one of the most blessed when we get a hold on it.
1. 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!
2. 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.
D. 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.
E. Despite 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 this morning! We are not in the care of hospice this morning! We are not at home and in bed sick this morning! 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 this morning! 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!”