Tuesday, November 04, 2014

The life you can be thankful for...

“…you have assigned me my portion and my cup;
You have made my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
Surely I have a delightful inheritance.”
Psalm 16:5-6

A small group conversation in Professor Jim Wilson’s church was silenced by this question: "If you had the power to recreate yourself, what would you leave unchanged?" Everybody quietly considered the possibilities for a moment. Finally, Tom, a former alcoholic spoke.

"The thing I would leave unchanged is my relationship with Jesus," he said thoughtfully. "If I changed everything else, it might mean I never met Jesus. I don't want to take that chance."

One by one the other members of the group agreed. The one thing they would not change showed them what they were most thankful for. Each member of the group could thank the Lord for houses, cars, and plenty of food. They could thank God for spouses and the love of family. Given the opportunity to keep one thing, they choose to hang on to Jesus.

The psalmist King David saw that, in his life of faithfulness to God, God had provided him with a good life. As he went God’s way, King David discovered God was faithful to him . . . giving him the sense of joy and peace and satisfaction he truly desired. Even when he needed to cry out to God for help . . . thanksgiving and recognition of God’s faithfulness to him were on his mind.

The essential truth the psalmist is conveying for us is this: The life you and I can be thankful for is a life built on loyalty to God. When your life is built on the foundation of Jesus Christ, it is a secure and stable life. It is a life that enjoys a good direction. That good direction sets your life on a trajectory for a great future. That good direction gives you the security that you will never be separated from the presence and love of God.

Does life in Christ guarantee that you will avoid rough times? Not at all! But you can be thankful that loyalty to Jesus does assure you that God is by your side, giving you support, keeping your life on the right track, strengthening you for life’s journey.

Whenever you pause to give thanks for something this month, don't forget God's greatest gift, the gift of his Son, Jesus. The Apostle Paul commended the church at Corinth for their generosity which caused the overflowing of thanks to the Lord. Then he added, "Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift" (2 Corinthians 9:15).