Thanks in All

For the dedication of the new wall of Jerusalem, the Levites throughout the land were asked to come to Jerusalem to assist in the ceremonies. They were to take part in the joyous occasion with their songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps, and lyres…

I led the leaders of Judah to the top of the wall and organized two large choirs to give thanks. One of the choirs proceeded southward along the top of the wall to the Dung Gate.     Nehemiah 12:27, 31 (NLT)

Nehemiah is an interesting person in God’s Old Testament.  He is a leader of his people although we are not told that he is an anointed king.  He definitely seeks the Lord in prayer, believing in faith and yet also utilizes warriors and strategy in war.

I have been thinking about ‘thanks’, I was struck by all the wonderful examples I have throughout Scripture in giving thanks.  I can ‘see’ David as he danced before the Lord, leaping and spinning. He gave thanks to God for all that He had done for him and for Israel.

Jesus also gave thanks to His Father, pointing us always to the One who deserves our complete praise.

Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.”

He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” Luke 22:17-19 (NLT)

Jesus was about to walk the path of suffering that is beyond anything I can imagine. It would get an “R” rating from Hollywood for extreme violence. And He is thanking the Father because He is seeing beyond the moment to the eternal victory.

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.                          1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT)

Paul reminds me on when to give thanks in all that is in my life. It is God’s will that I do so.
There is a specific ‘thing’ that happens when I give thanks to God.  When I pray and believe (many times ‘in faith’ only) that God is in the situation and that He will guide and direct it for His glory, something extra-ordinary happens! I am affirming my complete dependence on God. I am affirming that I do not know what the future may bring but I am in that future with God. And that spiritual ‘deep breath’, that peace that is beyond my ability to reason it out – is in me (Philippians 4:4-7).

I know that many of you are going through difficult trials. I am praying for many of you by name. I don’t know the answer to your questions. I can only tell you, from my own experience, that God knows your name. He knows your situation. He knows your heart. He won’t leave you. He will go every step of the way. Reach out and take His hand. Follow Jesus all the way. Be thankful that you are not alone.

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