ABC’s of Thanksgiving – Letter I

Ephesians 5:20 and 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tell us to always give thanks to God in all circumstances in Christ Jesus/Messiah Yeshua.Always being thankful no matter what the situation? Really? But that’s God’s command to Christian and messianic believers. So, just what does this mean?

My friend constantly complains about her work conditions:

~overworked because of not hiring enough people;

~overworked because other goldbrick workers don’t carry their weight;

~treated with prejudice by incompetent supervisors who are constantly spewing out negatives.

So, God, where are the thanks in theseĀ  circumstances?

Child,

I am Initiator of Work (Genesis 2:15 implied). I placed your friend in that particular job to be a testimony for Me. The goldbrickers and incompetent supervisors must see their need of a relationship with a personal God. How better to get their attention than to give them a real example of what that looks like.

Life isn’t about My people. It is about My working in them to accomplish My will. As God, I am capable of doing anything and everything I want. But I chose to allow My children to work alongside Me. That way they receive blessings both on earth and in eternity.

I know work conditions are not perfect. That’s why I instruct My children not to grow weary in doing well (Galatians 6:9). If My children remember that I placed them in their work situations – volunteer or paid – they will work for Me. Children that don’t understand this will work for their bosses or supervisors. It will be easy for them to be slack in their performance (Proverbs 18:9).

~Be thankful to have a job.

~Be thankful that I give skill and wisdom to accomplish the job.

~Be thankful for the opportunity to have treasures in heaven which are more important than a paycheck or bestowed honor.

Child, be thankful that you work for Me!

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ABC’s of Thanksgiving – Letter F

Ephesians 5:20 and 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tell us to always give thanks to God in all circumstances in Christ Jesus/Messiah Yeshua. Always being thankful no matter what my situation? Really? How can I follow this command when I’m afraid?

I was looking for something in the garage when I saw a garbage bag of clothing that never made it to the thrift store. Curious as to why I put my slipper in there, I reached for it. Discovering that it had eyes and sharp teeth made me jump back in fear. The possum’s residency was unexpected, and eviction was swift.

The unwanted animal was a real threat, and fear was a natural reaction. I am thankful for this kind of healthy fear, because it protects in the face of danger. But what about those fears that engulf my mind, spirit and emotions? Fears that gobble up my identity and confidence? Fears that immobilize me? Where are the thanks in them?

Perhaps my appreciation comes from following God’s “You first” rule. Many times the scriptures record God’s conversation with people and prophets, “If you will…, then I will…”

Fears that come from sources I can identity – unfulfilled expectations, disappointing relationships, perplexing actions of others, unmet deadlines, physical discomfort – I bring to God. He offers me His wisdom and discernment to see these fear-producers in a new light.

But what about the fears with no easily identifiable basis? Unknown to me; known to God. He knows everything. I bring those fears to Him and wait while He reveals their origin.

My gratitude is found in God’s desire for me. So many times His word says, “Have no fear; be not afraid.” My thanks is also found in His name – Fear Chaser (Psalm 34:4 implied).

Like the possum, unhealthy fears don’t belong in my life. God is the best ejector of them.