Losing it All to Gain Everything
By Ryan Everritt, CBM National Intern –
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV) “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
How often do we thank God? I can’t answer for anyone but myself. And you know your own self. It’s easy to thank God for a new day and the food you eat. But do we thank God “in all circumstances”–even in the hard times? Surely when you get a job promotion, or you get a new car, or something wonderful happens, there’s cause for celebration. But what if you lost your job, your home, or a family member passed away–what then? Will you blame God or thank Him giving them to you in the first place?
A great example from the Bible would be Job 1:20-22 (NKJV) “Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.’ In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.”
For, if you remember what happened, Job lost all his children and his livestock; he also had a severe health affliction the 2nd chapter. But, as you see here, he didn’t blame God but praised Him. I realize it can be hard to be thankful in such difficult times. There’s so much going on–a flood of emotions, can’t think straight–it’s tough. How can you be thankful when it seems you’ve lost it all? Remember what Romans 8:28 (ESV) says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” And in James 1:2-4 (NKJV), “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
The end of the story, in Job 42:12-17, God restored Job’s possessions twice as much. And he was given 7 more sons and 3 more daughters. Even though it’s hard, we should still give thanks to God. Even for the small, simple things, we should thank God. And how does anyone continually give God thanks? I’ve not yet heard anyone speak all day, non-stop, thanking God for everything that comes to mind. But it’s about having a grateful heart. But what if I don’t express thanks to God? That I see as a sign of pride. So, no matter what circumstances you are in, give thanks to God. Here’s what Psalm 105:1 (ESV) says, “Oh give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples!”
I am grateful for all the things that God has done for me. Though at times I don’t see it, He has truly blessed me. It is by God’s grace and mercy that He has brought me to where I am now, after eight months in the CBM National Internship. Before, there wasn’t much variety in what I would do, back at home; I would just do the same thing over and over. Being in the internship, I’ve been learning and experiencing a lot and I’ve recently started my second rotation, at Camp Ta-Pa-Win-Go in Watauga, Tennessee. I’m really enjoying it here, the staff are kind and complimentary.
One more thing I want to share, referring to Romans 8:28. A quote from Charles Haddon Spurgeon in his book Prayer and Spiritual Warfare, “Have you ever noticed that whenever God is about to give you a promotion, elevating you to a larger sphere of service or a higher platform of spiritual life, you always get thrown down? That is His usual method of working. He makes you hungry before He feeds you. He strips you before He clothes you. He makes you nothing before He makes you something. This was the case with David. He was to be king in Jerusalem, but he had to go to the throne by way of the cave.” So, yes, even when such things happen, God has something better. I hope this has been encouraging. Please take some time to thank God for what He has done in your life. Thank you and may God bless.
How can God use you and your talents to further His kingdom?
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