What are you thankful for today? First and foremost, if you are a believer, you should be thankful to God. For He had sent His Son to save you. Furthermore, you should be thankful for the selfless act of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to set you free from the imprisonment of sin; who drunk the cup of Wrath of God, that was prepared for you; who gave you the gift of eternal life in the presence of God Almighty… for a new heart, for a new mind, for a new life in Jesus Christ… for every day and every breath what God giving and giving you out of reaches of His mercy…
But, you know what? Even pagans and unbelievers can be thankful when everything is good. Do you give the gratitude to God amid your tribulations? Are you thankful to God when the bodily pain is killing you? When the problems at work, in your family or with your friends make you run and hide. When the world is going nuts and you can do nothing, but participate in that. When the Word of God that you preaches to this world is being rejected, mocked, and ridiculed. When you being spit on, and beaten up, and put into jail for loving the same world what hates you. Are you? Will you?
41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. 42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. // Acts 5:41-42 KJV
After the Apostles have received the promised Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, they went on doing many wonders and signs, healing people, casting out demons and preaching the Gospel. Every time after their preaching or healing of the sick they were imprisoned by the officials on the request of the Sadducees and Pharisees, who hated them greatly for their preaching.
One night, after another imprisonment, the angel of God appeared into them in the prison. He opened the door, let them free and commanded them to go and to preach in the temple. So, they did. When the guards saw an empty prison cell, they started looking for them and finally found them preaching to the people in the Jewish temple. Then the officers took them and brought them to the council. And Peter, not loosing such an opportunity, preached to the council too. His preaching cut them to the heart and they were angry. So, the council decided to beat them up and commanded not to speak in the name of Jesus any more. So, they did .. not!
Instead, Peter and others who were with him, were giving thanks and glory in tribulation (Romans 5:3-5). They rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for the name of Jesus Christ. Moreover, they did not stop to teach and preach the Word of God. They continued daily going in the temples and houses bringing with them the hope of salvation!
This is the time for your journaling. Reflect on these questions. Ask the Holy Spirit to test your faith and your walk with Christ.
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? — 2 Corinthians 13:5 KJV
- What are you thankful for today?
- Do you express you gratitude through the highs and lows?
- To whom do you direct your thankfulness?
- Please, write down all what you are thankful for to God.
Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You, Lord God, for giving us not what we deserve, but because of who You are! We thank you Father, for You sent Your Son as a ransom for us, who were in the prison of sin. We thank You, Jesus Christ, for your perfect and sinful life. We thank You, that you died on the cross to pay our fine. We thank You, that You rose from the dead to give us life, even life in You through the Holy Spirit. We thank You, Lord, for every day and every breath what you giving us again. We thank You, Lord God, for every tests and trials what we have in our lives and we thank You, that Your Spirit never lives us forsaken. We thank You, God, for the hope that may be found only in Jesus Christ. And we pray that the Word of God will never stop sounding.
We pray in Jesus Christ name, Amen.