As Christians, we have so much to be thankful for. Do we express gratitude and are we thankful enough? It's easy to get caught up in the routine and the normal not seeing how much we are blessed.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,"
Notice in these few verses just how much we have been blessed with in the Lord!
He chose us in Him to be holy and without blame
We have received adoption as His sons and daughters by Jesus Christ to Himself
We are made accepted in the Beloved - that is, God’s tremendous grace has been granted to us through His Son Jesus and we are accepted through Christ
We are purchased from our dead works of sin - we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins
In considering these few verses, we have much to be grateful for.
It is true even for Christians: difficult times and hardships will come. To be grateful in these times can be a challenge. When we are faced with the loss of a loved one, the loneliness we experience at times, the loss of a job, or even sickness, yes these times are challenging and difficult times. I certainly don't mean to express that they are not nor do I want us to think we should "put on a mask" and pretend everything is ok. However, even in these times, it has not changed what the Lord has done for us. In His blessings, we can be grateful.
I wanted to share just a few reasons I am grateful. Hopefully, it can encourage you to consider the blessings of Christ.
Love of God demonstrated through His Son - I am so grateful for the Lord's rich and full grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love. I am also thankful for the salvation that comes through Him. (John 3:16) "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life"
A loving family and a godly wife - I cannot say enough about the blessings of my family and wife. Without them I would not be who I am nor would I be able to preach and do what the Lord has set on my heart to do. (Proverbs 31:10-11) "Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain."
Church family - blessed to serve & be a part of Southbelt - I am hard-pressed to think of a greater fulfillment than preaching God's Word. In addition to preaching and ministry, I am blessed to serve at a local congregation that loves our family and loves the Lord. (Hebrews 10:24-25) "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching."
My employment - I am grateful for my employer, whom I have worked for the past 21 years. Through this blessing and the Lord's hand, we have been able to have our needs provided for. (Proverbs 12:11) "He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, But he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding."
Our home - Our house is comfortable, it is a home that my wife works very hard on. I am thankful we have this for our family. (Philippians 4:19) "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus"
Health - Health is at times taken for granted. I remain grateful for the ability to preach and provide as I can for our family. (Psalm 28:7) "The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him."
There are reasons to be grateful. I hope these brief thoughts will encourage you in remembering how blessed we are in Christ.
All Scripture references and quotes are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.