© by Joyce C. Lock
Thanksgiving began with the Pilgrims, to give God thanks for their survival.
Many nice, warm feelings surround Thanksgiving (with happy memories of special times with family and the aroma of scrumptious food).
For the Christian family is a tradition of giving thanks, whether it be in a service, to each other, in testimony, song, offering, in a family circle, or in prayer.
Though those words may be well intended, sincere, and heart felt ... perhaps we should also give thanks for "our" survival.
STONING : When one thinks they're doing God a favor by cutting you off at the pass, silencing you, rooting you out of a position, or not letting you participate because you haven't conformed to their ideas for acceptance (leaving you on the outside looking in).
FLOOD : When adversity hits, one after another, until you are so overwhelmed that you can feel yourself drowning.
TRIAL : Spiritual warfare; when Satan tries you through suffering and temptation (meant to slow you down, distract you, detour you from your calling, and even convince you to quit).
FIRE : Intense tribulation, going through great troubles, difficulties, or dangers (meant to weed out the flesh and Satan's power over you).
AFFLICTION : The least amount of pain, suffering, distress, or calamity required to bring you to greater spiritual growth.
When we have learned to let Jesus hold our hand in full confidence - we have learned to be bruised but not broken, wounded but not killed, walk on water, do battle with Satan, break chains of bondage, walk through the fire without being burned, and how to overcome.
Christians know what it is to be Pilgrims in a foreign land, to face the obstacles of people at every hand. For each and every victory, we are also survivors and can truly give thanks to the ones who made it possible. Thank you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! We couldn't do it without you!
The purpose of this series is to encourage people to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God: Jesus tells us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) God tells us through Micah (6:8), "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God." And we know from Revelation 21:4 that there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain, or death. Thus, Christian living requires us to set the standards of these conditions here on earth for our fellow human beings, and for the other animals, as a witness to the rest of the world. To do otherwise is not Christian.