When you think your life is hard, just look around. Visit those who have no one to take care of, those that are too sick to take care of themselves. When your job is "can't stand to get up in the morning" awful, think of those who have no job. No money to pay the house note, no money for groceries. When the kids are driving you crazy and you don't know how you will make it through another day, think of how lost you would be without them. Not just for a relaxing weekend, but if you had to live the rest of your life without them. Things aren't quite so bad....
In the year 1620, 102 pilgrims had come to this continent to build a new world where they would be free to worship Almighty God. In that first year, 56 of them had died from cold, starvation, sickness. They had every reason to be depressed and discouraged, but they chose to give thanks.
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vine; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation. The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He will make me as surefooted as a deer and bring me safely over the mountains. Habbakuk 3:17-19
I - Thank God For His Unchanging Sovereignty
I may not always be able to rejoice in my circumstance, but I can always rejoice in my Sovereign God. He is never taken by surprise. We must choose thanksgiving without questioning and complaining about our circumstances.
II - Thank God For His Unceasing Salvation
No matter the circumstance in our lives, it can not alter our salvation. God is using circumstances to shape, mold, and refine us, however unpleasant that may be at the time. Our lives can change in a single moment....one accident, one phone call. Be thankful!
III - Thank God For His Unlimited Strength
God's strength and grace is sufficient for you.
I have never had real hardship in my life. I have never worried if we could provide food for our children, a home for our sleepy heads. No money for extra fun stuff? Sure. But those things are insignificant. I have never been gravely concerned about my family's health. Or if we wouldn't all be together tomorrow. I pray that I can be as sincere and thankful in serving the Lord as Habbakuk and Job. That I can rejoice in the Lord in all my circumstances. That I can choose to give thanks.
Greenwell Springs Baptist Church
November 15, 2009