March 19

Every Thankful Thursday is founded on the belief that we need to continually thank our Lord for His protection, care, and blessings. It’s also a time to direct our focus on Him more. You see, the more we look at the cares of the world, the trials, problems, and Coronaviruses, the more our faith falters. When we are low on faith, I can guarantee we are also low on thankfulness.

  • “God never hurries. There are no deadlines against which he must work. Only to know this is to quiet our spirits and relax our nerves.” –A.W. Tozer
  1. Thank God for His provision in your life today, to include your health, a place to live, food on your plate, and your loving church family.
    1. What else can you thank Him for? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

So, today I was in the church kitchen with a bag of energy drinks that I was putting into the fridge. I was about half-way done emptying the bag when I felt something on my leg. The intensity of this creepy-crawling feeling picked up and I shook my leg and yelled out before I saw what it was I had just shaken off. There on the kitchen floor was a good sized (maybe 7”) centipede—you know, the type that sting really bad. Wow! I can still feel it crawling on my leg! I am extremely thankful that I wasn’t stung, but what if I had been? Would I still be as thankful? How about you when something bad happens—are you still thankful?

  • “The only safe place for a sheep is by the side of his Shepherd, because the Devil does not fear sheep; he just fears the Shepherd.” –A.W. Tozer
  1. Write down some ways God has kept you safe, and then thank Him for each one: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Now, write down some ways that you have suffered injury or sickness, financial hardship or loss, and then think of how God used each of these for His glory, for your growth, and even as a testimony to others: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Life is short. The fact that I can remember some events in my life when I was 4 years-old just about as clearly as things I did in my 20s which are almost as clear as what happened last week, tells me that time is short. Everything feels like it was just yesterday that I was riding my Big Wheels and spinning out with the side brake, or trekking through the woods on my bicycle, or travelling through Joshua Tree National Monument on a motorcycle with a buddy of mine in the Marines.

However, what is really odd is trying to imagine being here in 20, 30, 40 years. I can’t see that far in the future. I can’t imagine what the world will look like that far in the future. I can’t picture what I will be like way down the road. I can remember my past easily enough, but to imagine my future is almost impossible.

This comes back to our necessity to live in the now. We can’t dwell on the past (wishing we could relive it or wishing we could fix those things we regret), nor should we worry about what will happen. We must live as if there is no future and as if right now is all there is. We must live as if any moment we could end up standing in front of God giving an account for our lives.

  • “Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.”—Luke 17:33
  1. Thanking God should come in the realm of the past, the present, and the future:
    1. Thank Him now for His love and care throughout your life, for bringing you through the bad times, for bringing you to salvation and that He has never left you nor forsaken you.
    2. Thank Him for having you right here in the present. He has a plan for you and wans the best for you now, even if the best hurts. Thank Him that He is still here with you and still not forsaking you.
    3. Thank Him for holding the future in His hands, and loving you with His eternal grace, that even if things get worse on the earth, that the end is one of eternal victory and peace, and that He will never leave you nor forsake you even in the future.

Now Thank We All Our God Hymn by Martin Rinkart, Translated by Catherine Winkworth

1 Now thank we all our God

with heart and hands and voices,

who wondrous things has done,

in whom his world rejoices;

who from our mothers’ arms

has blessed us on our way

with countless gifts of love,

and still is ours today.

 

2 O may this bounteous God

through all our life be near us,

with ever joyful hearts

and blessed peace to cheer us,

to keep us in his grace,

and guide us when perplexed,

and free us from all ills

of this world in the next.

 

3 All praise and thanks to God

the Father now be given,

the Son and Spirit blest,

who reign in highest heaven

the one eternal God,

whom heaven and earth adore;

for thus it was, is now,

and shall be evermore.