Thursday, December 10, 2015

All the Stuff


Peter laughed at James' high pitched shout. Peter and his fellow disciples had just been released by the council. All of them were whooping and hollering. They were giving thanks. Even Matthew, whose ankle was broken, was joining into the praise - he was just leaning on John while he did it.

Sure, they had been beaten, bruised, and threated. When the council released them, they told them in no uncertain terms that they must not speak about Jesus anymore.

Yeah, like that was going to happen.

"Thank you, Lord!" Peter spread both arms out wide. The cool, evening air stung his cheek, but he didn't care. He was going to give thanks. In fact, they all were.

Yeah, they just been imprisoned and tortured. They had been falsely accused and threatened with death. But all those things had happened to them because they were worthy. They were worthy to pick up Jesus' cross, and follow him.

 Peter was thankful. They all were. And they were determined to give thanks and glory to God all the time - even the times that were considered bad. Although, Peter considered this a pretty good time.

Based on Acts 5:41

"Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name." Acts 5:41

This was originally my Thanksgiving Day post, but due to a very long labor and emergency C-section, I was in the hospital on Thanksgiving. But just because the Thanksgiving holiday is behind us for the year, it doesn't mean we still shouldn't be thankful. With Christmas fast approaching, it's easy to fall into a pattern of greed. (By the way, I like books. Just kidding.)

The Thanksgiving and Christmas we know and love didn't come to be until way after the events of the Bible took place. Regardless of that fact, the Bible talks a lot about giving thanks, thankfulness, and thanksgiving.

When I was thinking about what to write for this, the very first thing that came to mind was all those people in the Bible who were bruised, tortured, and persecuted, yet still gave thanks. Thanksgiving is defined as the expression of gratitude, especially to God. It doesn't say the expression of gratitude for only the good stuff.

God blesses us in a lot of ways, and we have no problem thanking Him for that. But what about everything else? What about everyday life? What about God's twist in our perfectly laid out plan? What about the "bad" stuff? Thanksgiving isn't about thanking God for just the good stuff, but all the stuff.

Truthfully, there's been a lot of good stuff that's happened to me this year. But there's been some crummy stuff, too. I am thankful for all the ways He's blessed me, but I want to be thankful for all the ways He blessed me when I was complaining, and I want to be thankful for His help carrying me through all the things that tanked. I want to be thankful for all the ways I was counted worthy.

"Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:20

Take a moment today, and tell God you're thankful for all the stuff. Good, bad, and in between.

V. Joy Palmer

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