Wednesday, November 26, 2008

giving thanks

For some of us, thanksgiving is not something we just naturally do everyday. I believe the Lord is changing me in this regard. But it takes time. It's of the Spirit, but it's also something we're involved in as well, as with all, or at least certain kinds of workings of the Spirit. I recently was blessed in hearing a brother pray this week in our weekly start up meeting at work (we take our turns), who seems to pray in the Spirit and with thanksgiving marking all of his prayers. I'm sure God wants to use that to impact me and my practice of giving thanks.

Some of us face many challenges and disappointments or worse. I think of a friend who is struggling with cancer. Some of us have carried burdens or voices in our head from the past we've listened to far too long. Though we may be making progress, and in the Lord we should be, yet we just often don't have it in ourselves to be bubbling over to God with thanksgiving (and of course this is a work in us of God's grace). Actually it seems strange to me that I seem to have little trouble thanking people, but too much trouble thanking God. Something just doesn't add up there. Though God while personal is different for sure than others. We often ask in different ways, "If God is so great and so good, why this, this and that in this world, and this in my life?" Giving thanks ends up being a crucial part of learning to walk by faith in God and in God's promises in Jesus, and not by sight.

I think it's important to learn to give thanks for the little things, for all God's gifts, great and small. But to get some of us who are late bloomers going, maybe we need to dwell on those things which are bedrock truths for our life in God through Christ. We can get going in giving thanks to God consistently on such ground truths, and then from there begin to give thanks to God for everything, doing so in creative ways, as well. Like giving thanks to God for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus, in the sense of seeing or sensing or anticipating God's hand in all things for good, even in our trials.

I thank God for his great and good work of creation, new creation and redemption through Jesus Christ our Lord. And that this great work most definitely includes me. And that I'm part of a wonderful community of brothers and sisters in Jesus locally in our church, at work, in the blogging community and worldwide. We are most wonderfully blessed to have Jesus and to have each other in Jesus.

I thank God for Scripture as God's word to which I turn daily. I thank God for his voice and the story of God we find in it, and in which we can find our place today. I thank God for the gospel of Christ by which I've been saved, and want to be an instrument of God's peace to others through this gospel, helping others come to a saving faith in our Lord Jesus.

I thank God for my wife, Deb, who is a wonderful help meet and my best friend. Also I thank God for our daughter, Tiffany, for her baby Morgan, and for her boyfriend Chris. God has made each one of these three so very special. I am thankful for them and look forward to seeing how their lives unfold in coming days and years.

I thank God for his great faithfulness in our lives. It is new every morning. And for the "Our Father" prayer we're to pray, as well as for the gift of prayer as we walk by faith and not by sight in this world.

I thank God for the hard times, even though I don't like trials in themselves. Yet through them God helps me to grow and become more like Jesus, as I press on through them with the Lord.

God is good. Far beyond our understanding and grasp of goodness. And God is great. We need to trust God to work that out in and even through our lives, and thank him daily for his work in and among us in Jesus. And we pray that God's work will go on in and among us out to a world that is in great need. And we anticipate God's good working in us to that end, in whatever form that takes, beginning with prayers. As we await the great day of thanksgiving when God makes all things new in Jesus.

What might you like to add to this note and post of giving thanks?

Linked from L.L. Barkat's post, A Bite of Pie and Thanks.


RissaRoo said...

"Giving thanks ends up being a crucial part of learning to walk by faith in God and in God's promises in Jesus, and not by sight."

Amen, and Amen! So well stated. Thanks for the reminder!

Crowm said...

We are blessed beyond measure. Amen!

I love beginning with a simplicity. When I reflect on God's grace, mercy, love, and faithfulness in my life, it seems that everything (including the challenges) should be recognized as blessings.

Have a blessed day Ted!


Allan R. Bevere said...

Amen to all of your thanksgivings.

I am thankful for good friends like you, Ted, whom I have never met face-to-face, but have had the privilege of knowing in the blogosphere.

L.L. Barkat said...

I loved that little thought about being a late bloomer in thanks. I guess I feel like a late bloomer in a lot of things!

And your note about Deb was so, so sweet [hi Deb! I hope he made you smile with that one :) ]

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment. Yes, I need that. What I think is my best blogging is preaching to myself, or in regard to something I'm working on. Thanks.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Amen, Mike. We need to ever be reflecting on God's great mercy to us in Jesus. That helps put all else in its proper perspective and place for us.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks. It's wonderful to know you as a blogger friend, and really more than that. Thanks for your continued friendship, and it will be wonderful when we're all together someday, and begin to get to know each other firsthand, in the new creation in our Lord.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes, I think that did make her smile. She's at work at the moment.

Yes, I indeed am a late bloomer in many ways. But God is good, and he makes all things beautiful in his time. I probably have slowed it down considerably, but God is thankfully so patient towards us.

Maalie said...

I wish you and your family a happy Thanksgiving, Ted.

lorenzothellama said...

Happy Thanksgiving.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks much, Maalie! You too have a special, blessed day.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks much, Lorenzo,

You too, and yours have a special, blessed day!

(and I should have added, "and yours" to Maalie, as well!)