|Pastor Nimmons & Family|
It's interesting this particular month we have been dealing with this theme of "Thanks" as we've had an opportunity to expound upon this subject at two services this month. The message God had given to us to minister was entitled; "The Paradox of Gratitude, taken from Gen 50:20, and Psalms 34:1-3. In Genesis 50:20, Joseph has revealed his identity to his brothers; the same brothers that wanted to kill him, the same brothers that were extremely jealous of him, the same brothers that eventually sold Joseph into Egyptian slavery. They were now being reunited, by circumstance, with their younger brother Joseph, who is now the 2nd in command of all of Egypt. Knowing and understanding the story of Joseph, he could have very well sought revenge and retribution against his brothers for what they had done to them. After all, it was his being sold into slavery by his brothers that began the series of events in his life that got him to this point. But, Joseph knew and understood that God was the one that orchestrated it all, that's why he was able to say with confidence as well as humility to his own brothers, "What you meant for evil, God meant it for my good that He might save much people alive." Joseph was ultimately giving thanks to God for the twists and turns that his life took in order to get where God wanted him to be. What I continue to love about this story the most is, as you read it you would think that the twists and turns of Joseph life happened as a result of him possibly falling off of God's radar. That being sold into slavery, being lied on by Potiphar's wife and thrown into prison, being forgotten about while in prison, were all of result of God not keeping up with Joseph's whereabouts. Not so! But, God was not only thoroughly aware of where Joseph was, but He was strategically involved in every twist and every turn that his life took. And, we found out that it wasn't even about Joseph in the end. It was all about the preservation of God's Chosen people; the Children of Israel. But, Joseph was thankful to God for not just where he was, but he was also thankful to God for the journey.
And, this is what I believe many people miss in understanding their walk with God. That God has a purpose and a plan for our life. He is not just making things up as we go, or with us today and forgetting about us tomorrow. But, God's plan for our life is one that He thought about even before the foundations of the world. And, God's thinking about us, was not a casual occurrence or some off the cuff reality, but we all are very much aware of the power that is contained in God's thoughts. It was His thoughts that created the world that we live in. So, God thinking about us is a very significant component about our walk with God that we must remember. And, the part that we continually miss is that Jesus said in St. John 16:33.."in this life ye shall have tribulation;" we forget that part. That God has sprinkled and colored our lives with tribulation, not in an effort to kill us or to destroy us, but as way to mature us and to make us better. In fact, Jeremiah writes in the 29th chapter vs 11, "For I know that thoughts that I think towards you saith God, thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you an expected end." So, we are not just to thank God for the good things that happen in our life, but we have to thank God for the bad things as well. Understanding that the Apostle Paul was right when he wrote in Romans 8:28, "And we know that ALL things are working together for the good of them who are the called according to His purpose." And, David echoed similar sentiments in Psalms 34:1-3, "I will bless the Lord at ALL times and His praises shall continually be in my mouth.
Praise is the equivalent of the thanks or thanksgiving. Inasmuch as we praise God for what HE has done, and we worship Him for who He is. Therein lies the difference between praise & worship; two essential parts of a child of God's daily devotion. But, for the context of this week's blog, our praise to God should not just be limited to the good thing that He has done, but we have to praise Him for even the turbulent times in our life we've had to experience or are even experiencing. Once you know the intent behind the tribulation, then you should be better able to endure it knowing that you're going to be better when you come out of it then when you went in. Being thankful for just the good things that God has done, implicitly suggest that God is only worthy during the good times of your life. And, during times of indifference, times of struggle, or the hard times that we face, God is no where to be found and therefore not worthy of the praise. Not so! He knows where we are and has reminded us that he will never leave us nor will he forsake us. So, God is right there in the midst of what you're going through; ready, willing and able to come to our rescue whenever we need Him the most!
In closing, I'm thankful for so many things. A beautiful wife, son, and daughter that God has so graciously blessed me with. I have a wonderful extended family and support system; father, mother, and sister that are the lifeblood of my existence. I'm thankful for a job in this current economic crisis that we're experiencing; I'm thankful for the many doors of opportunity that God has opened and is opening for us in our lives; I'm thankful for the many talents and gifts that God has bestowed upon us. I'm thankful for the many friends and well wishers that God has put in our path on this journey to our destiny. Thank you for your words of encouragement and inspiration. It has kept me humbled as well as focused on being ALL that God would have us to be. I'm also thankful to you our readers, who consistently take a few minutes out of their day to read our blog and to comment and provide feedback that can help us doing things even better. And, I will continually praise God for ALL that He has done, and more importantly worship HIM for who He is. So, my questions today is what are you thankful for? What has God done for you that you just cannot give Him enough praise for? Please share these thoughts with our readers, as I believe many will be spiritually edified by the individual testimonies of our brothers and sisters. So, on this Thanksgiving Eve, what are you thankful for?