Who do you consider to be rich?
We live in America where we are so much richer than we realize. I plugged our family’s numbers into this website called “Giving What We Can” and our family is in the top 5% richest people in the world.
When we read about how it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom, do we think about ourselves as the rich?
Col 3:17 God commands that we be thankful for what we have:
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
We need to give thanks daily for the riches God has blessed us with and not allow them to become a stumbling block in our faith or to others.
How can we give thanks?
There are two ways that I give thanks for my blessings.
The first is to give. We are SO rich and none of us have any excuse not to be giving to our church and to others who need help. I can’t say how much each family or person should give, but I think you should give enough to notice it and for it to be a sacrifice. It’s just a decision of priorities.
2 Cor. 9:11-12 says: You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in
many expressions of thanks to God.
The other way is a gratitude journal. I have kept these lots of times in the past five years. I just write as many things each day that I’m grateful for. I might write two or three things if it was a hard day. I might write 20 things if I am having a great day. The point is that I could always think of something.
I keep them and love to go back and read them. I did one while Dane was gone for six months right when we got married and it’s so funny to see the little things that I was thankful for during a time when I wasn’t that happy naturally.
I looked at them the other day and I would write things like Chic-fil-A, the movie White Christmas, and Dr. Pepper. It doesn’t always have to be these deep spiritual things but it’s really a great exercise to think daily about your blessings.
All circumstances…that is what makes this verse tricky.
People always talk about everything they are thankful during this time of year and then you don’t hear as much about it again until next November.
We need to make this an all year thing. If you are thankful for someone, tell them every day. They need to hear it.
I have a story about showing thanksgiving when you think God’s will isn’t what
you wanted it to be.
When I graduated college, I got married two weeks later, moved the day we got back from our honeymoon to a new town, and immediately started trying to get a job teaching. It was WAY too much new for me. I began interviewing in a large school district and over the course of the summer and I went to 7 interviews and got turned down 7 times. I knew I had to have a job because Dane was about to go to the police academy for 6 months and I needed something to do every day and the money!
At first I just prayed for each job that I interviewed for and that I would get it. Some of these jobs were for grades I didn’t want or were really far away from my apartment. After rejection 5 or so, I changed my prayer and I prayed and prayed that God knew what was best for us and that everything would be ok.
The week before school started, a principal to the school next door to my apt. called and offered me the job without even interviewing me and it was in a grade that I liked.
God had a plan for me even though I couldn’t see it because I had my own plans. I was SO thankful for that job and was glad that God was SO much smarter and wiser than I will ever be.
Romans 8:28 says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
We need to constantly be praying thanksgiving to God for our lives he has blessed us with, for our earthly comforts that others only dream of and our
spiritual blessings that he has given us. Even though sometimes it’s scary to give up the control, God’s will is always going to be better than our own plans, even if we don’t realize it at the time or ever.
This is Part 3 in a series on God’s Will for Us: