Thankfulness in the Turmoil  

The world sure is getting crazy. Wars, rumors of war. Children dislike their parents, natural disasters (earthquakes unlike any ever seen before are promised) and of course the ever-present, political divide that we can see for ourselves as the starting phase of the prophesized wars. (Matthew 24:6) Jesus told us these “signs” would be the beginning of the end.

Just knowing what the Bible says creates relief in knowing Bible prophecy is true, but also fear because there are a lot of things that are scary and unknown to us. Experiencing death is one of those things! To add to that, Jesus (through John in the Book of Revelation) said there will be pestilence (disease); famine (starvation); lack of drinking water, and war. 7 plagues altogether create a terrifying picture to consider as our near future. (Revelation 15-16)

In the past, Christians knew about the above things, but I think few of us thought we would be living when it happened. And happening it is, at lightning speed. Four years ago we were still living our lives; happily, socially, with few economic problems and peace treaties being made all over the world. Energy was at historically low prices, food was plentiful, interest rates for autos and homes were affordable, and life, in general, was good.

Then the man-made pestilence arrived! COVID-19 and all of us were thrust into a world of fear, anti-social habits, illness, and death. Concurrently came numerous economic uncertainties, shortages of goods, and jobs, selfishness, greed, and isolation. Depression, death, divorces, addictions, and mental problems were all delivered to our homes. Indeed, what once seemed like distance prophecies came rushing into our lives like an unwanted tsunami. Drowning us in problems and fear!

In Matthew 24:6 above, Jesus told us not to be alarmed. He told us not to fear. Both seem impossible considering human nature, but I am going one step further and telling you that we must be thankful in all things and at all times. “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Ephesians 2:8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”

Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

1 Chronicles 16:34 “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”

Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”

Psalm 28:7 “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.”

Psalm 34:1 “I will extol (praise enthusiastically) the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips.”

Psalm 100:4 “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.”

And there are so many more.  Just search scripture verses of thanksgiving and see what pops up and speaks peace into your heart!

You see, as we face and live with the unthinkable and unbearable, God still expects us to lean on Him. Trust Him and constantly give thanks and praise to Him. For He gave us the ultimate gift. Hope in knowing He will prevent His children from as much personal suffering as possible and He will be with us. He made the ultimate sacrifice long ago so that we can be assured of eternal life. A life with no suffering, no more tears, and eternal joy. We are to focus on what is to come AFTER all the hurt, pain, and suffering, being thankful that our future is much brighter than our present or past.

Revelation 21:4 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

As a final thought, please note that praise and thanksgiving go together. It is very difficult to be worried and afraid if you are expressing gratitude through praise and thanksgiving. Personally, I could not imagine living with what has happened in my life over the last few years and facing the uncertainty of my future without God holding my hand. The very fact that He makes His presence known and His helpful nature available will enable me to be thankful and full of praise even as my heart breaks.

If you enjoyed this sermon check out our others here or if you have questions please send us a message.

Love, hugs, and blessings, Lisa ><>

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