Things that Are Unchangeable
There are certain things that are today for everyone in general and for everyone specifically.
Things that ‘are’ for everyone are planetary locations and rotations, star location, seasons, time, place, and space. It is a particular day, week, month, year, and season of the year. There are certain laws that are in effect. The law of gravity is a well-known law. If you jump off a cliff, you will fall to the bottom of the cliff and probably kill yourself. Who can argue with that?
Things that ‘are’ include physical needs. People need food, water, and shelter from the elements to survive.
Individuals are living in a certain place, surviving by specific means, are a particular gender, heights, size, skin color, age, with a particular level of health.
Measurements are what they are, whether you are measuring time or distance or square feet.
Now, what happens when someone decides that things that ‘are’ ‘are not’? I mean, if you are measuring time and decide that Christmas is on a Tuesday when it is really on a Monday, will your holiday plans turn out ok?
Or, if someone living in Fairbanks, Alaska, decides it is July when it is December, and dresses accordingly, will they avoid the frostbite the comes to exposed skin in December in Fairbanks?
If someone who is a size 12 decides to buy clothes that are a size 8, will the clothes fit?
If an architect decides a foot is 10 inches rather than 12 inches, will a 2000 square foot home really have 2000 square feet?
It doesn’t work does it? Things that are just are. That is the way it is and we cannot change it. It is called the truth. And, if anyone has a misconception of the truth of time, distance, measurement, necessities, and so on, they are setting themselves up for a BIG fall.
Something else that is an unchangeable fact is the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the truth that saves. It tells the truth by which man can be saved from hell and obtain heaven. If it is diluted to the wisdom of man, then it is not the truth that has power to save.
Join the task force of true Believes who earnestly contend for the faith. Take the true Gospel to the lost. A watered down social gospel has no power to save anyone from anything. A lesser gospel is sort of like taking rainwater to a sick person and telling them it has the nutritional and healthful benefits of chicken soup. Even if you throw in a couple of tablespoons of real chicken soup, it will be rainwater. It also will not have any benefits to the health or recovery of the sick person.
It is also an unchangeable fact that in order for a Christian to have a faith that is strong enough for the journey, they must be firmly grounded in Bible teachings and truth. A strengthening truth from the Bible is that God deserves our thankfulness, and that thankfulness to God benefits the believer as well.
It is an unchangeable fact that something crucial to the well-being of Christians is thanksgiving. God deserves our thanks. It is wrong to with-hold thanks when it is deserved. As usual, God gives more than He gets.
Thanksgiving DOES have benefits for you personally. God takes notice of obedience in His children. A moment of sincere thanks to God will most certainly bless you. The world tends to look at ‘blessings’ as mountains of material wealth. This is not the case with believers. Honestly, the material blessings are wonderful. However, they do become secondary to other blessings like life, the honest love of family and friends, liberty, freedom of worship, and freedom to follow the dreams that God puts in your heart. Still, Christians are not to make light of material blessings like a nice wood burning stove on a cold day, a roof that doesn’t leak during a rain storm, or that really neat new refrigerator that makes shaved ice when you hit the right button. (No, I don’t have such a refrigerator, but I want one. Of course first I need a house to put it in, but I still want one.) Specific Thanksgiving to God Almighty for His wonderful blessings to mankind and to you personally brings you closer to God. The closer to God you are the better your life will be.
We are approaching the end of 2011. Thanksgiving is just on the horizon, and then comes the most famous holiday of them all. For Christians Christmas should be a time of even more thanksgiving. Honestly, I like to start celebrating Christmas on Thanksgiving Day, or a week or two before. Get into the mood of thanksgiving and let that be your constant thought through the rest of the year. It is sort of a time of rest from worries. Thanksgiving to God Almighty has the power to give you rest from whatever worries you have. A very common worry from now until the end of the year is money. How are you going to pay for all that holiday cheer? Meals, travel, present, and even charitable giving all adds up to a lot of extra money. If you don’t have extra money during the rest of the year, why would you have extra money for the holiday season which includes Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year? This time of year is either the time to cave into social pressure to spend spend spend, OR become scrooge like, OR become more thankful. In becoming more thankful, the other problems do two things. First they go from being most important down to being far less important. Sometimes unexpected solutions present themselves. Whatever happens you are far better off being thankful than you are worrying about how to get it all done.
Also, to all my readers, I know some of you aren’t really worried about Christmas presents and expenses. You are worried about having no job, and how you are going to pay your electric bill in the dead of winter. I prayed for you just now. I ask all other readers to take a minute right now to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are hurting financially right now. Also pray for those who have suffered loss this year such as death of a family member, an unwanted divorce, and other such terrible losses. And, for the brethren who are without even personal safety, much less a constant way to provide for their families. God help each of you, and God give each of us the means and a generous heart to help those we meet who are in need. I want to speak to both those who have suffered terribly this year as well as to those who have prospered spiritually and materially in this article. Thanksgiving is the help for everyone, regardless of circumstances. But, let me speak to those going through rough times just a moment. An example of thanksgiving in dire circumstances is given to us by the Pilgrims who first came to what would become the United States of America. During their first year, the Pilgrims suffered approximately 50% casualties. HALF their number died! Yet when the opportunity came they offered a huge thanksgiving to God for His goodness to them. The legacy left by their behavior rocked the world. So, if you are in dire circumstances, the most effective thing you can do is sincerely thank God for the daily benefits He gives to you. If things seem to be going your way now, it is an equally good time to give thanks.
In the Bible we are told five times of the ‘sacrifice of thanksgiving’. I think the more dreadful the circumstances the people are facing, the more thanksgiving is a sacrifice. They have to take their thoughts off their problems, or sacrifice the sorrow’s first place in their thoughts, and give thanks to God first place in thoughts. I suppose even sorrow or trials could be a taken as a ‘god before God’ if the trials are getting first place in the believer’s life. The Pilgrims were certainly an example of a sacrificial time of thanks. But in the thanksgiving there is rest from which it is hard to turn away. When you stop thanking God, you have to face the trials alone. Always remember that while you are thanking God, God is working on solutions for you. Also remember that among all our worldly goods, though they be great, no one has anything worthy of an offering to God. Thanking God for His goodness to us is the way to express our thanks properly, AND rest from our sorrow and trials,
AND give God the authority to work out our difficulties on our behalf.
Take the time to go to a web site like biblegateway and look up thanks, thanksgiving, thankful and read the verses. Believers are called upon to be thankful in all circumstances. I don’t think we are supposed to be thankful when tragedy or hard times strike, but rather to be thankful for the goodness of God that continues through whatever circumstances we are facing.
The best way to prepare for the coming season of holidays including Thanksgiving and Christmas is to pay strict attention to thankfulness to God. The best way face the rest of your life is to set a pattern of thanksgiving in all seasons in all circumstances.
If you are in a dire set of circumstances, faith in God’s ability and willingness to fulfill his promises to His children is the beginning of change. Have faith. God is righteous, and God loves His children. Give thanks. It takes a lot of faith and determination to set aside sorrows and thank God that His word is true and that He will do all that He has promised. (Remember that little song ‘Every Promise in the Book is Mine’? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-lqYLoBZqI )
If you are in good circumstances now and living the life of which you always dreamed, remember that it is God who has blessed you. Give thanks.
I have two songs for this article because thanksgiving seems to be accompanied by music.
The first is Amazing Grace because it is a ballad that tells the story of conversion, life, and heaven. Memorize all the verses. There is no song like it all creation. The verse that says, ‘The Lord has promised good to me – His word my hope assures’ – explains the reason we have courage to give thanks in the midst of trials. The Lord promises us good. His thoughts toward us are good. We can’t see the big picture most of the time – but that does not change what the true picture really is. God had promised good to me personally – and to you personally as well. Give thanks.
The second song is ‘Faith is the Victory’. Hebrews chapter 11 tells of faithful acts of the saints of ages past. For the individual Christian to take his/her focus off their troubles and focus on giving thanks requires great faith and determination. God has not changed. He still takes note of those who go forward by faith, seeing the greatness and power of God instead of the impossibility of their tasks. By faith, set aside your distractions whether they be good or bad, and make thanksgiving a constant and continual part of your daily thoughts and routine. Faith and thankfulness are first and foremost an attitude of the heart. A right attitude has its roots in thanksgiving and faith. I wish to all of you a blessed time from now through the rest or the year. I thank God for believers around the world, and pray for His the continued blessings of His help to each of us.
Encamped along the hills of light,
Ye Christian soldiers, rise.
And press the battle ere the night
Shall veil the glowing skies.
Against the foe in vales below
Let all our strength be hurled.
Faith is the victory, we know,
That overcomes the world.
Faith is the victory! Faith is the victory!
O glorious victory, that overcomes the world.
His banner over us is love,
Our sword the Word of God.
We tread the road the saints above
With shouts of triumph trod.
By faith, they like a whirlwind’s breath,
Swept on o’er every field.
The faith by which they conquered death
Is still our shining shield.
On every hand the foe we find
Drawn up in dread array.
Let tents of ease be left behind,
And onward to the fray.
Salvation’s helmet on each head,
With truth all girt about,
The earth shall tremble ’neath our tread,
And echo with our shout.
To him that overcomes the foe,
White raiment shall be giv’n.
Before the angels he shall know
His name confessed in Heav’n.
Then onward from the hill of light,
Our hearts with love aflame,
We’ll vanquish all the hosts of night,
In Jesus’ conqu’ring Name.
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!
Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.