Getting back our Thankfulness
By Chris Rathbone
Everywhere you go these days and strike up a conversation, it almost always tends to turn to all that is going on in this world. The political landscape is an embarrassment, to say the least, the mainstream media is a joke, the economy is suffering from a lack of employees, there have been shortages of goods and the prediction is there are more shortages to come, inflation is continuing to rise seems like sometimes daily, our nation is divided morally, politically, racially, etc, etc, etc. Of course, we have to mention the ongoing “pandemic” that is constantly covered in the news, complete with daily numbers of infections, deaths, and now even those who have been in contact to further incite the fear that a lot of folks are already constantly struggling to keep under control. The government and media fear factory has even divided people to the point where they are now arguing over the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. Many churches have struggled for the last couple of years. It took a while to get things in place, but most are now broadcasting services online or radio because of so many members that are still not attending in-person services. There is a lot of discouragement among pastors who see their members everywhere else but the church, and I’m one of those pastors!!! All of this we are bombarded with daily and that does not even include all the situations that we face personally and in our own families and communities. Whew! Quite a bit to take in all at once isn’t it?
All of this has caused many to lose their focus. When we allow ourselves to be overwhelmed daily by all that is happening we tend to let all this steal our joy and thankfulness! All that is going on in this world has always happened, it’s nothing new. However, in the day that you and I live in, media technology has advanced to the point where we have access to all the bad news on a phone that we carry in our pocket. The news (propaganda channels) is broadcasting 24/7. Just watching the local news broadcast you will find them covering pretty much bad news from start to finish apart from weather and sports coverage, and even that is bad news sometimes!
So, what are we to do Christians? We need to get our focus and our thankfulness back!
While it is prudent for us to be informed, we must not allow satan (I don’t even want to capitalize his name) and this old world to cause us to forget all that Jesus has done for us. The struggles and ungodliness that we meet daily will often capture our attention to the point where we are consumed with it all. When we do that, it causes us to miss out on knowing Jesus more intimately daily and making Him known to those around us. After all, that is our purpose and mission, to know Him and make Him known to others!
Read these verses that Paul wrote to the believers at Philippi: “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally my brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” Philippians 4:4-9
Let me recap quickly the steps to gain back our focus:
#1. Rejoice in the Lord. Vs 4.
#2. Let our gentle spirit from Christ shine to others. Vs 5.
#3. Don’t worry, pray with thankfulness. Vs 6.
#4. Receive God’s peace to keep our hearts and minds. Vs. 7
#5. Focus on the Godly things. Vs. 8.
#6. Don’t forget what God has done, follow and obey Him. Vs. 9
Children of God, it’s time to stop letting the devil and this ungodly world convince us there is no hope. It’s time to take back what has been stolen over these last few years and realize who we are in Jesus and get back our thankfulness!
Thankful in Jesus,
Preacher Chris Rathbone serves as Pastor at Mine Creek Baptist Church.
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