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Thanks Be To God

Posted on November 24, 2020 at 10:05 AM

Dear Saints,

 

There seems to be a general consensus that the year 2020 has been a bad year, at least for our country. Beginning with a shortage of toilet paper it seems like things kept get progressively worse as the year went on. The Covid-19 pandemic, the lockdowns, the economic setbacks, the call for defunding the police, violent protests in the streets of major cities, and unprecedented voter fraud during the elections all add up to make this year seem like the worst in recent history. Add to that a hidden undercurrent of frustration and rage in the average American today and I wonder what we could possibly be thankful for this year.

 

I interpret the toilet paper crisis as a sign from God that also explains all the other crazy things sweeping our country. In a nutshell our concern over a shortage of toilet paper is a literal expression of our worry about how we are going to save our own butts on many levels. The fear of not being able to get enough toilet paper is a fear of not being able to save your own butt literally, and that fear extends to how you are going to keep from getting the virus, how you are going to survive a lockdown, how you are going to pay your bills and buy groceries, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. The real problem here is our natural tendency to panic in fear rather than trust God to provide. Fear and faith are mutually exclusive.

 

Despite all the fear mongering by the media and the various threats we face as a nation, we still have many reasons to express our thanks to God in this crazy year. Above all I thank God that he has “not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” The greatest gift we have received from the Father is the indwelling Spirit of Truth, the Comforter as Jesus called him, who continually leads us, teaches us, reminds us, and guides us into all truth. Because of his work in us there is no need to scramble around trying to save our own butts on any level. Each of us have the amazing privilege to be personally led and directed in our everyday lives by the Spirit of Christ.

 

Although the spirit of anti-Christ has been actively working in the world since the beginning of these “latter times’, the events of this past year suggests a sudden escalation in the spiritual war between God and Satan. While much of biblical prophecy has already been fulfilled in the first coming of Christ, there remains a significant number of prophesies to be fulfilled concerning his second coming to establish his kingdom on this earth. Regardless of the various interpretations of specific events the overall picture is an intensification of spiritual battles culminating in the ultimate defeat of Satan and his forces. That tells me things are likely to get a lot worse before they get better. But it also tells me that our ultimate victory in Christ is assured and drawing near.

 

Because of the promises of God concerning his working in us as well as our world, we have much to thank him for no matter how crazy things are. Knowing that he has made us brand new persons in Christ and given us his Spirit gives us the confidence we need to face this ”present darkness” we are living in. Knowing the Father has given all power in heaven and earth unto his Son in whom we are blessed with all spiritual blessings we are assured our own ultimate victory. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15: 57-58, “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that you labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

John

 

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