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#MWC E2.2

It is good to have special days like Thanksgiving to be remind us of the importance of being thankful, but the biblical call of God on our lives is to give thanks in all circumstances!

Jesus Is His Name is a song that I wrote several years back, and I still love the message… a reminder that there is hope, and there is refuge, and Jesus is His name.

Jesus Is His Name (written by Jeff Polen)

There is peace in the midst of chaos
There is joy in the deepest pain
There is love for the unlovely
There is hope, Jesus is His name

There is no other name under heaven
By which we all can be saved
When there is no where else to turn, there is somewhere else to turn
There is refuge, Jesus is His name

There is grace for those who trust Him
There is mercy for those ashamed
There is truth for those who seek Him
There is hope, Jesus is His name

There is no other name under heaven
By which we all can be saved
When there is no where else to turn, there is somewhere else to turn
There is refuge, Jesus is His name

Jesus saves, Jesus saves
There is hope in His name
Jesus saves, Jesus saves
There is hope in His name

There is no other name under heaven
By which we all can be saved
When there is no where else to turn, there is somewhere else to turn
There is refuge, Jesus is His name

* * *

Last week we looked at Psalm 9, verse 1 and we talked about what it looks like to give thanks to the LORD with our whole heart, recounting all of his wonderful deeds. I hope that was a helpful challenge, and I trust that each of us took time to exercise our thankfulness to the LORD -especially on Thanksgiving!

I love special days like Thanksgiving. It is good to have at least one day per year dedicated to being thankful. However, the biblical call of God on our lives is to give thanks in all circumstances! Check out what Paul writes as he concludes his first letter to the Thessalonians:

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
– 1 Thessalonians 5:18, ESV

All circumstances!?

Really?

That seems a little overboard, doesn’t it? I can easily understand giving thanks in the midst of good circumstances, but what about the terrible and terrifying circumstances?

Right now, as I speak, I can think of several circumstances in the lives of people that I know and love that are absolutely terrible. There is no two ways around it. The circumstances are terrible. There is so much brokenness, sadness, and tragedy, that it is hard to believe God really wants us to give thanks in ALL circumstances.

Is giving thanks in all circumstances really the will of God in Christ Jesus for us?

Perhaps the best way to answer that questions to look at Christ himself! He, of course, is our best model and example of what this looks like in real life.

On the night that he was to be betrayed, knowing full-well what terrible circumstances lay before him, Jesus still gave thanks.

Listen to how Luke describes it:

And he took a cup, and when he had GIVEN THANKS he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and when he had GIVEN THANKS, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.
-Luke 22:17-20, ESV, emphasis added)

In the shadow of the looming cross, knowing that he was soon to be betrayed, beaten, and crucified unjustly, Jesus gave thanks. He knew that his blood would pay for our sins. He knew that his body would be broken for us.

He knew that God was at work even in the midst of a terrible and terrifying circumstance!

Guess what… God is still at work! In the midst of your worst circumstance, God is at work! God is still good! God is still redeeming and restoring, and we can still recount all of his wonderful deeds (like the Psalmist challenged us to do last week)!

So let’s take our cue from Jesus this week and beyond. Even in the midst of terrible, tragic, and terrifying circumstances, let’s give thanks to the LORD, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for us!

Next week, we will start looking forward to Christmas as we celebrate the awesome season of Advent.

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#MWC (Season 2)

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