It is not easy being thankful. We live in a thankless generation. I make an effort to teach my grandsons to say thank you. It just isn’t normal. There is nothing like a two year old saying “tenku gramma,” hoping the concept will stick when he eventually understands what it means. Please and thank you were good habits to learn.
However, true thanksgiving can only happen with an encounter with God. The miracle of transformation in hearts and minds is something to shout thanksgiving for. But what if the transformation hasn’t happened yet? What if you have been waiting to see that fulfilled promise and hope deferred for several years? How do you be thankful then? Let’s not pretend. We all have heard the words, spoken by Graham and many other great leaders and prophets, to be thankful before the outcome, to be present future in our minds and hearts…
(Deuteronomy 30:11-12) 11 This command that I give you today is certainly not too difficult or beyond your reach. 12 It is not on heaven so that you have to as, ’Who will go up to heaven, get it for us and proclaim it to us so that we may follow it? (HCSB)
Those who went before you bore witness to my faithfulness- they have reaped the bounty of my greatness and experienced the fulfillment of my wrath for breaking My covenant. I make this same covenant with you so that you too will have access to these provisions and be sure to keep and follow my laws and this covenant.
Our comfort and assurance comes that our God is unchanging- the covenant made 40 years earlier at Sinai carried the same weight when God’s people prepared to move into the promise land, and 2,000 years later, we are in the same covenant relationship and have the same access to the Lord and all His glory.
(Deuteronomy 30:14) But the message is very near you, in your mouth and on your heart so that you may follow it
(2 Peter 1:16) For we didn’t come to follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we have eyewitnesses of His majesty (HCSB)
Can we have faith, without the knowledge of Him?
Without the revelation of Himself, the Hebrew slaves would not have been delivered out of the hands of Pharaoh, 4,000 would’ve perished on that hillside if the Disciples couldn’t move past their doubt, and the Epistles would never have been written if Paul hadn’t had his encounter with God. These events are but snippets of God’s greatness, a glimpse of His character, though without these revelations of Himself, Christianity as we know it would be non-existent. Without knowing Him, we would be hard pressed to place our faith in Him, and any hope of escaping the madness of the world would be gone.
Colossians 1:27) God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you the hope of glory.
The foundations of faith;
Faith manifests itself in three ways, Revelation of self, evidence of existence, from creation, to the prophecy unfolding, we recognize His hand-work and faithfulness (Luke 5:6) When they did this, they caught a number of fish and their nets began to tear. Faith is in the testimony of others;
(Luke 1:1-4) Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us 2 just as those from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us 3 It seemed good to me also, having followed al things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus 4 that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught. Ultimately, faith is found in the workings in our own lives, in the unexplainable things that cause a transformation from within. Remember where you were when the Holy Spirit of God first revealed Himself to you?
(Luke 24:38-39) “Why are you troubled? He asked. “And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Look at my Hands and my feet, that it is I Myself
Remember that moment that changed your faith when the Holy Spirit of God first revealed Himself to you?
(Matthew 16: 7-9a) 7 And they discussed among themselves, “We didn’t bring enough bread.” 8 Aware of this, Jesus said, “You of little faith!” Why are you discussing among yourselves that you do not have enough bread? 9 Don’t you understand yet? (HCSB)
If God’s grace is more than enough, and He is all we need, shouldn’t we have more than we could ever hope for? Or, Is our lack of faith an insult to the power and purpose to the finished work of Christ Jesus?
Why would we cry out (To Him) in times of crisis, yet we continue to ask for more proof of His greatness?
Honestly, We haven’t claimed these truths as our own, and do not profess the faith we confess. Jesus just fed 4000 with a couple of fish, and a few loves of bread. He met us right where we were and poured out His grace abundantly, and yet we’re worrying about not having enough bread. We call out to Him, and are still remain strangers to the cross (Luke 6:46-49). Should we not be focusing on His faithfulness, these things He has done, rather than our incompleteness on our faith?
(1 Peter 1:13) Therefore with your minds ready for action, be serious and set you hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Christ
When I come home from praise and worship, I instinctively set my rig aside and fall on my flat on my face onto thew bed because I’m so spent. But I’m a professional musician capable of doing 4-hour sessions with no problem. What happened? Unlike spending hours preparing for a performance, committing the playlist and chords to memory, worship is the process of emptying myself completely, coming into the presence of the Lord, and allowing His spirit to have its way with me. It’s as if a catharses and a transformation moving in concert within me. Worship is the obedience of coming into full surrender, it is having the humility to say it is never about me, but all about You, Lord-an area I submit this is something I go back and forth with.
Change my heart, O God;
(Colossians 3:4) When the Messiah, who is in your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory
My gift of song is God’s gift for His pleasure. Paul’s letter of instruction to his co-workers was clear on this as the gospel was being advanced into Colassae; (1:25) I have become its servant according to God’s administration that was given to me for you, to make God’s message fully known. I pray that I will continually apply this to all areas of my daily walk that Christ will be kept in front of all I do.