Mini Messages

Bite-sized bits of faith to help uplift you throughout your week

Thank You Lord, But...

Posted by Pastor Dave Johnson on November 27, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving to you - from the Lord, because of the Lord, and coming from the heart of our Lord, because He truly is the foundation on which to build that happiness in thanksgiving. Here’s a question that is worthy of our contemplation during this festive season of thanks: “Why are some folks living in the Spirit of thanksgiving with joyful lives thrilled with the Spirit of gratitude, while some have no clue, or little aspiration as to what Thanksgiving is all about?” The answers are found in that very question: It all comes down to the SPIRIT of thankfulness, the Spirit of the Lord - do we possess Him and is He possessed of us? The second answer is also found in that same initial question, thanksgiving comes by “living in” the Spirit of thankfulness, issuing happiness to you as its byproduct. So, are we alive in Him, living in Him or are living for self, being then bound to the negativity of complaint because things just are not the way you would orchestrate them under the “grand conductor” of self-centered will? Maybe some of us, even some of God’s children may struggle with thanksgiving from the heart by saying, “I would be thankful, BUT …” Here’s the life’s scenario of one missing the essentials of God’s wisdom: I would be thankful but, this situation, this relationship, this treatment, this seeming injustice, my childhood, this plan having gone awry, this person, and the list goes on and on. May the Word of God plant in our hearts the spiritual seed of Biblical thanksgiving: “IN everything give thanks, for this is the will of God IN Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thessalonians 5:18), all in the context of “Quench not the Spirit” (v. 19). There is a “will of God IN Christ Jesus concerning you” (His sovereign predestined will in your life, for you to be conformed to the image of His Son, Romans 8:29). That WILL needs to be addressed without quenching the Spirit (putting out the flame), especially not to be extinguishing the Holy Spirit’s warmth of thankfulness. So what about that “will of God IN Christ Jesus concerning you.” The THANKS that we give IN the will that “concerns you” concerns Him even so much the more, and His will is good because He is good. “Oh give thanks unto the Lord, for HE is good” (I Chronicles 16:34). Oh, dear child of God when it comes to things “concerning you,” take the real heart concern, namely being concerned with living in His Spirit of thankfulness as to what transpires in your life, and trust His sovereign GOOD will; IN THAT give thanks. When you do, it will rearrange the big little word “BUT” in your life regarding your happiness in thanksgiving. Instead of the heart of complaint in saying I would be thankful, ‘BUT,’’ it will be redefined as, Lord, I maybe don’t quite yet understand my situation regarding the will of God IN Christ Jesus concerning me, BUT I will thank you anyway. Lord, I desire to give thanks in all things, and may you use those ALL THINGS in my life for me to become more and more like my Savior and Lord. So, “no ‘BUTS’ about it” - just thank Him, and live in the Spirit of thanksgiving. When you do, you have the Spirit’s power to embrace all the happiness found in a life living for the Lord, a life in Him empowered to give thanks IN all things, not necessarily FOR all things (I’ll use the seeming ugly, to make something beautiful in my life - becoming more like my Jesus). So, He gives you the Spirit enabling you to give thanks IN all things, so then, thanksgiving is initially from Him, and in Him. He gives you thanks, so you can then possess a spiritual heart of thanksgiving, to give thanks. Then, our heart has the awakened desire to give thanks for things that you may be overlooking (friends, family, job, home, clothing, help from people who care for you and love you, past and present blessings and the list goes on. Oh, don’t overlook that on which you need to set your thanksgiving sights; be aware of the enemy of your happiness in thanksgiving, namely, humanity’s tainted judgment that loves its brew of selfish complaint. Rather, set your heart on your relationship with your Lord, your maturing in His predestined will for your life, and your thanksgiving’s sights on the One who gives you the Spirit of Thanksgiving and all the happiness found in the Spirit of the same. “Oh give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good.”