Sometimes I struggle with picking the weekly topic for this blog. But given that in the United States we will celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday this week, the topic selection was easy this time. Now, I still had to write the blog post and that took a little more doing.
I have to confess that I have not been thinking that much about giving thanks. Instead, I have been thinking more about having a few days off next week (which I need), about spending time with family, about the great food we will have (fried turkey!), and of course about football (the Cowboys are actually in contention!!!).
However, I have plenty of reasons to give thanks. I have a beautiful wife who is my best friend and a great gift from God. I have family that loves me and cares for me. I have a very good job that allows me to do something I am good at every day, to take care of my family, and it also gives me the opportunity to interact with people from all over the world on a regular basis. I am in very good health. More importantly, I have a loving heavenly Father that knows me and provided the Way for me to know Him. He delivered me from darkness and sin. In Christ, I have joy, peace, love, and the hope of eternal glory. What more could a man ask for?
And that’s the question right? What more do we need? How much is enough? Even as I help you achieve financial wellness, the temptation will always be there to want more and more. And giving into temptation will keep you from having a thankful heart. A heart that says: “I shall not want“. Be careful that you don’t look at your situation and find yourself always thinking: “I need more“. That can only lead to bitterness and frustration. You might say: “But you don’t know my situation!” And you are right, I don’t. But I do know that you can always have a thankful heart. Let me try to show you with a story from my favorite book, the Bible.
In the days of the divided Jewish kingdom, the Northern kingdom of Israel was at war with the Arameans. The people of Israel were under siege and without access to food. They were in desperate need and ready to die. God’s prophet Elisha had promised deliverance but as usual the people did not believe God. And here is where my heroes for the story come through. There were 4 leprous men that were seating at the city gate in Jerusalem. These men, already excluded from society because of their condition, decided to take their chances and go to the camp of the Arameans to beg for food and mercy. In their eyes, they were already dead anyway. When they arrived at that camp, they realized that God had indeed delivered them again. During the night He caused the Arameans to flee, leaving all of their provisions behind. For these four men, their first reaction was a normal one. They took items and food for themselves and hid them. They did that a couple of times until they realized their mistake. They realized that they needed to share the good news of deliverance and the provisions with the rest of the people. It was indeed a time of rejoicing for everyone (see 2 Kings 7). What are the Thanksgiving lessons from this story?
- God will always come through and will provide for His people. Even when we lack the faith to believe Him. He is the Great Provider (Gen 22:14).
- Regardless of your current situation, you can always see God’s hand in your life and be thankful. He is the Good Shepherd (Psalms 23:1).
- Understanding that you have enough will lead you to share with others who are in need. The result of a thankful heart is a lifestyle of generosity.
So I do trust that you enjoy this great Thanksgiving holiday. Get some rest and enjoy the time with your loved ones. For sure, I hope you will have plenty of great food for everyone. And in all of this, think of someone who needs to share in your blessings. Someone needs a word of encouragement, a bag of groceries, a helpful hand to accomplish a task. They are all around us and they all need good news. Make sure you are involved in the process of sharing the many blessings of God. Happy Thanksgiving!
6 But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.
7 For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.
8 If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.
I Timothy 6:6-8 (NASB)