What Do I Have To Be Thankful For?

We are nearing the end of our Thanksgiving Week, and I received some responses from the messages I shared, and folks are having a tough time out there. They are wondering if they really have anything to be thankful for.

Yikes! I know it is tough. There have been things you have been praying for, situations that need the Lord to act on, and He seems distant and uninvolved. I am trying not to give you any quick and easy, pat answers. What can I say when you are out there feeling that the Lord will never intervene on your behalf?

Some of you have long, drawn-out illnesses, there is also some lingering unemployment, and relationships that never turned out as you hoped they would. Someone told me about a promising opportunity that would have been the perfect answer to their prayers, but it fell through. Folks, I’m sorry. I wish I could wave a wand and solve all of those problems, and heal the immense disappointments your are feeling. And here we are in the Thanksgiving season, and we are supposed to be rejoicing and celebrating, but you have a broken heart, your dreams shattered and needs so painfully unmet. And as I said, you are wondering if there will ever be any reason to be thankful.

Have I hit the nail on the head? Look, it is during times like these that we must remember that our God is still absolutely faithful. Sure, it may not look like He is, but friends, that is what we call faith. Oh drats,  I said I wouldn’t give you any pat answers. Here you are feeling disheartened. Now, I bet you won’t like my answer, but it is because you continually focus on the overwhelming problems. When that is all you think about, meditating and ruminating on it continually, you will inevitably head down the road of discouragement and unbelief. That is why I continually tell you that the only weapon our enemy can use against us, is our Thoughts, Ideas, and Suggestions. That’s it! Don’t complicate this, if you want victory, control what you feed your mind!

I’m being honest with you. If you truly wish to be victorious and to grow in your relationship with the Lord, you must control what you are meditating on. You need to begin with the Truth of Scripture and our God’s trustworthiness as your Heavenly Father.  I know you have heard this many times, from many different sources, but where you center your attention will determine how you think and make decisions, which will ultimately determine your path.

Paul made what we were to do so clear in his second letter to the church in Corinth. He said that we were to, “take every thought captive so that it is obedient to Christ” (II Corinthians 10:5).

The reality is that our Father does, indeed, meet all of our needs. And as believers, we are called to walk by faith in Him, not by what we see happening around us. So, as we are waiting for the fulfillment of our prayers, we need to pursue a deeper relationship with our Lord and discover what He is trying to accomplish in and through us.

To help you deal with everything going on in your life, I would like to give you some Truths. Now don’t picture one of those TV “infomercials.” You know, “Hey give me a call and I send you three easy steps to success and prosperity! But you have to call now . . .” No, no. I am going to  give you three essential truths that have guided me during every test and trial in my life.

  1. Our Father wants to meet our needs. Just remember that. Don’t start begging Him to help you. He has already moved to come to your rescue! You can see this throughout the Scriptures. The Lord invites us to present our requests to Him. Take a look at some New Testament passages: Matthew 7:7-10; Philippians 4:6-7; I John 5:14-15.Since He is our Heavenly Father, He wants to provide for us, and the greatest proof of this is the gift of His Son. Jesus came to earth to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of humanity. He did this by teaching the truth, healing the sick, casting out demons, and finally, by dying on a cross to pay for our redemption. As Paul made plain: Since our Father didn’t spare His own Son from death on our behalf, He will graciously give us everything we need (Romans 8:32)
  2. Our Father knows your needs. Although we are told to make our requests known to our Father, he already knows what they are! The reason we present them to Him is to acknowledge our dependence on His provision. The goal isn’t to convince Him how badly we need something; it is to present them and then leave the method and timing in His hands.We are to trust His wisdom to do what is best.The fascinating part is that because His wisdom and knowledge is way beyond ours, He is aware of needs we don’t even realize we have! From His divine perspective, He looks deep into our hearts, as well as into every situation we face. Although we want an immediate response, He focuses on our spiritual and eternal needs. That is why it may look like the is ignoring you, and keeping His promise. He may be working to meet an even more important need in your life.
  3. Our Father is able to meet your needs. Nothing can hinder God Almighty! Come to think of it, if anything could thwart his actions in our lives, He wouldn’t be God, would he? No, He plans the solution to your problem, arranges the events, and brings the answer at just the right moment.I just remembered something Jesus said, “Ask [In fact, keep asking], and my Father will give it to you. Search [Or seek, and Keep seeking], and you will find. Knock [and Keep knocking], and the door will open for you” (Matthew 7:7). It doesn’t matter how big the problem is, our God is bigger! He is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in you” (Ephesians 3:20).One translation of Matthew 7:7, states that His ability is beyond what we can think or imagine! I don’t know about you, but I can imagine pretty BIG things, and my God cab meet them any time. So just remember the three realities: He wants to help; He knows what you need; and He is able to meet our needs!

Now, I want to see a big smile on your face, then look up and say, “Father, I do thank you. I don’t understand what is going on, but I do trust you with every aspect of my life! Amen!!”

Nickolas

With these Morning Messages, I take you on guided tours to, as Bunyan described, the Celestial City. At times we linger at corners familiar and unseen. And explore the depths of our faith along the way.

The trail is long, but there’s no hurry. Though we do need to stock up on supplies for the way, and that’s where I need your help. If you enjoy these messages, please consider becoming a contributing member of this tour group. It will be very much appreciated.

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