googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: Even if You're Rich, You Can Still Be Thankful

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Even if You're Rich, You Can Still Be Thankful

I’ve read about a hundred “be thankful” messages in emails this year. You’ve probably seen them too; those short pearls of wisdom that seem to say every cloud has a silver lining. Things like, “Look at the people around you and be thankful that you are not spending Thanksgiving alone.”

Now, it’s true that we are sometimes ungrateful and take for granted the blessings God bestows on us. But I feel it is somewhat short sighted to measure our blessings by comparing our situation to a worse alternative: “I may be out of work but I still have my health.” OK, so what about people who don’t have good health? “Well, maybe they don’t have their health but they still have a family that loves them.”

And what’s more, are we only thankful if we can think of something “good” God has done for us? “God, I know I’m in terrible health but I’m not dead yet so thanks!”

Is that really how some people try to make themselves feel better – by considering how much worse off they could be? To me it’s like being waist deep in quick sand and saying, “I’m thankful that I’m not chest deep like that fellow over there.”

To me, there is exactly one thing to be thankful for: my new life through Jesus. When we are passed from death into life, everything else in this world becomes secondary. It doesn’t really matter if I’m rich or wretched, comfortable or destitute, fat or starving. I’m thankful to God because no matter how good or bad I have it now, I’ve got something infinitely better prepared for me.

Even if I were the richest person in the world, I know that it would someday all pass away so why would I be thankful for that? Think about the rich man in Luke 12:17-20:
“And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?”
I have a home ready that was not made by hands. I have a treasure stored up where thieves cannot steal it and rust does not corrupt it. What more could I possibly ask for?

Jesus said:
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Wow! Now that’s something to be thankful for.

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