Archive for the ‘blessings’ Tag

GIVING THANKS IN ILLNESS

On Thanksgiving Day we are grateful for all we have been blessed with. Those of us who are Christians give thanks to the Triune God. We believe God is the source of all blessings.

Many give thanks for their good health. We have all been sick at times, but God is the Great Physician who heals. He has created our bodies with the ability to fight off many illnesses. God has given doctors and other health professionals abilities to diagnose and treat illness. He guides the physician’s mind and the surgeon’s hands. God enables nurses to act as the doctor’s right hand, giving care to heal. Other health professionals work in concert with doctors and nurses, attempting to produce the best outcome. And God Himself can heal those cases resistant to cure, if it be His will.

But how about the sick who’ve been treated and are about to go down to their graves without a medical or miraculous healing. Do they have anything to be grateful for other than the blessings God bestowed on them before they became ill? We must consult the Holy Bible for the answer.

There is a treasure trove of blessings promised to those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, whose works demonstrate their faith, and who have a personal relationship with God. He promises to never abandon us. “For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5). He is by your side to comfort you in illness if you reach out to Him. If you’re faithful to God, in death your assurance is sealed. You go down to the grave, knowing Christ will come again to usher you into His everlasing kingdom. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:16,17).

As for the dying who don’t know the Lord, it is never too late. Jesus pardoned the dying thief who acknowledged Him as Lord while on the cross, and on that day, Jesus promised the thief he would see Jesus in heaven.

It is our Christian duty to bring these dying souls to Christ when we visit them. Let your conversation flow from the heart, inspired by the Holy Spirit.

On Thanksgiving Day, as on other days, Christians have faith: “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). Perhaps our faith in God is what we can be most thankful for.

—All Scripture Quotations taken from KJV—

A GOD TO TURN TO

I’m sure most people wonder, in times of personal success, “Why do I need God, anyway?”  We tend to ascribe our successes to having the smarts and working hard.  We feel self sufficient.

But what about those inevitable times we experience pain, personal loss or failure?  Many of us blame others for our misfortune, then feel sorrow for ourselves or hatred for those we blame.  Some will consequently indulge in numbing activities like getting drunk, watching large doses of TV, or addiction to work.  Some of us try to replace our sorrow with pleasure by engaging in drug use, promiscuous sex, binge eating, or gambling and the like.  It sometimes becomes difficult to step back from our addictions and identify the real problem that needs to be resolved.  A professional counselor or trained church pastor can often help us identify the problem and bring solutions.

On lesser yet troublesome matters, maybe you, like me, need to forgive ourselves for not being perfect.  When you think about it, it’s really silly to believe perfection is always realistic.  After all, none of us is at the top of our game all the time.  To gently tell ourselves, “It’s OK.  I don’t have to achieve perfection in everything  I do.  I’m flawed and limited,”  is OK.

The only perfect entity is God.  And when it comes to understanding our weaknesses, it is only God who can fully relate, through His Son, Jesus, who understands our weaknesses, frustrations, and sorrows.   Jesus lived a life colored with human inclinations because He is fully God and fully human.  He lived a life molded by simplicity and privation and touchd by deep sorrow.  He can relate to a broken, discouraged human, comfort any type of sorrow, and mend us by His eternal love for each one of us.

Do you ever not know what to say to God—how to pray?  I suggest talking to God like you would a friend.  Many people I’ve talked to have this type of rich, rewarding relationship with Him.  Jesus is knocking at your door.  Opening it may be a humbling experience.

Yes, we do need God.  He created us with an inner craving for Him that can’t be filled by anyone or anything else.  We may feel self sufficient, but He gave us our abilities and we should stay close to Him even in our successes.  To give the glory only to Him brings us blessings He is happy to shower on us.  He will reward the person who acknowledges Him as our benevolent Creator and Sustainer.

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