Today’s scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5: 18
“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
The report of the German pastor, Martin Rinkart who served in the walled town of Eilenburg during the horrors of the Thirty Years War of 1618-1648 has been oft repeated. At the time, Eilenburg was an overcrowded refuge for the surrounding area. The fugitives suffered from an epidemic and famine. At the beginning of 1637, the year of the Great Pestilence, there were four ministers in Eilenburg. But one abandoned his post for healthier areas and could not be persuaded to return. Pastor Rinkhart officiated at the funerals of the other two. As the only pastor left, he conducted services for as many as 40 to 50 persons a day. In May, 1637 he lost his wife. By the end of the year, many more refugees were buried in the trenches. Pastor Rinkart was broken hearted. There seemed to be nothing to be joyous or grateful about. But Rinkart thought differently. He penned the following words to his children:
“Now thank we all our God; With hearts and hands and voices;
Who wondrous things hath done. In whom this world rejoices. Who, from our mother’s arms,
Hath led us on our way, with countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.”
In the midst of what seemed like a dark situation, Pastor Rinkart shone forth with thanksgiving. It is common place to offer gratitude on the occasion of a gift or under favourable circumstances, what is less common is giving thanks when the situation seems contrary. But this is important. The Bible urges us to give thanks in all situations. Things will not always go the way we anticipate them or plan, but we will always come out victorious. What is expected of us in the course of temporary instability or adversity is not complaining, but thanksgiving. To give thanks in the midst of adversity is to acknowledge the sovereignty of God and to place trust in His love for us and His capacity to deliver us. Thanksgiving, always, is an act of faith. And faith will always move mountains.
God desires to build us into a place of maturity, where we can be perfected in His love and comforted by the sovereignty of His will. The Scriptures speaking in Romans 8:28 says that all things work together for our good, to those who are called to the purpose of God.
Today, choose to thank God deliberately for areas where you are yet to see the manifestations of His glory. Heaven will move on your behalf, in Jesus’ name.
Meditate and Memorize:
“Bless the Lord O my soul; and all that is within me bless His holy name.” Psalms 103:1-2
Father I thank You today for the things I see and the things I do not see. I thank you because I know your grace is daily prevailing for me even when I don’t feel so. I receive the grace to stay strong in times of adversity and to keep my focus fixed on You forever in Jesus Name. Amen.