The glorious centerpiece on the communion table summarizes this season in one word: THANKFUL.
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
We are learning a new song today that we will sing every week this month, and each stanza expresses thanks for the many facets of God’s blessings. The song includes some of the more obvious blessings—Jesus our redeemer, the beautiful seasons, and answered prayers—but I appreciate the songwriter giving thanks to God for the things we sometimes see as negative:
Thanks for storms that I have weathered, Thanks for all Thou dost supply! Thanks for pain, and thanks for pleasure, Thanks for comfort in despair! …Thanks for roses by the wayside, Thanks for thorns their stems contain! …Thanks for joy and thanks for sorrow, Thanks for heav’nly peace with Thee!
Even the chastening hand of God is something to be thankful for, because God is working every situation for your good, in the end. It does say “in every thing give thanks,” and I suppose it is even through those hard times that we learn about God’s grace in a special way. Maybe especially so.
Hebrews 12:11 “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
2 Cor. 12:7–10 “…there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.“ –Pastor Ryan