Thursday, January 31, 2008

Giving Thanks

"May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light."
Col. 1:11-12

More thoughts on Colossians. The next phrase that caught me was "giving thanks to the Father." I am not only to be strengthened by His power (not my own) for all endurance and patience with joy, I am to do it giving thanks to the Father.

My life has not been characterized by thankfulness lately. I haven't really thought about it this way until my husband asked me about it yesterday (thank you, faithful husband!) but I guess if I've not been thankful then I've been complaining. Why? I have been focused on my circumstances and not on the One to whom I must give thanks.

Colossians 1:12 tells me one huge reason that I have to give thanks to the Father: He has qualified me to share in the inheritance of the saints. Then, Colossians 1:13-14 goes on to say, "He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." Giving thanks to the Father should flow out of my heart in light of this incredible redemption that Jesus has purchased for me! The strength that is available for me to endure, the fruit of patience with joy that I can possess is all available to me because of what Christ has done on the cross. I have great reason to be "giving thanks to the Father."

My temptation is to alter my level of thankfulness depending on my circumstances. We can so easily do that, can't we? I can consider it a great day until Owen starts crying or Tali disobeys or I'm running late or I don't get a nap or...fill in the blank. Lasting joy will never be found in our circumstances. Joy is found in savoring the truth that we are no longer under the domain of darkness but have been transferred into the kingdom of Christ! There is always, always, always a reason to give thanks to the Father because we are saved from His wrath by the blood of His Son.

Father, help us to be people who continually give thanks to the Father for this great salvation that Jesus has purchased for us. Help me not to see this day through the lens of my circumstances, but through the lens of your Gospel.

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