Monday, February 11, 2013
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It's amazing what a difference two words can make. For example if you're a teenager, your life can change dramatically when you hear just two words, "You're grounded!" Or if you're working, "You're fired." Or those two words that changed my life forever. You know what those two words were? "I do." It's amazing what two words can do.
Now, if you're in a down time right now, there are two words that can make all the difference to you. And then there are two words you don't feel like saying at all.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Two Words That Lighten the Load."
Our word for today from the Word of God, 1 Thessalonians 5:18. For those of us who are wondering what God's will is right now, here it is. "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." Paul says here that the giving of thanks in all circumstances is really tied to our destiny in being in the center of God's will. I think that the suggestion here is that two of the most powerful words we can speak are "Thank you." Or more precisely, "Thank God."
We all know that we like to be thanked, and we all know how it feels to do a lot for someone and never get a thank you. Right? Of course God is an expert in that field. But when you say, "Thank God", that's when I think it does more for you than it does for Him, especially if you're in a time in your life when you don't feel like saying thanks, because the specific present circumstances aren't very pleasant.
There are a few benefits, I think, that come from saying those two powerful words, "Thank God!" First of all - contentment. Even in the midst of an ugly situation like Paul being in prison, you can find contentment by saying the words, "Thank you." Paul certainly knew about that when he wrote the book of Philippians in chapter 4.
Remember what he said? "The peace of God that passes all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus." He had experience to write that. And then he says in verse 6, "In everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Say, "Thank God" and a marvelous sense of contentment will come over you, even in one of life's prisons. The secret of contentment in a crummy situation-a terrible situation-is to focus on the Lord - the good things that He has been doing in the middle of the bad. It means focusing on what you have, not what you don't have. Thank God!
The second thing that it does is you don't need to be noticed. See, pride gets stamped out at the gate when you give credit where credit is due and is properly given to God right away. "God, I know this was You. Thank You." When you start to take the glory for what God has done, stop. Send it up to God, "Thank God." Don't let the ego start to inflate.
The third benefit of saying "Thank God" is confidence. Because, you see, the same God who blessed your life in the past, who brought you through other things in the past, is going to meet you today. Look at His track record. Look at His history. The same God who I just thanked for moving a mountain yesterday, He is going to move mountains again for you. He'll do it all again! He's done it all these years for all His people. He's the same yesterday. He's the same today. He's the same forever. He's going to meet your needs today.
Rejoicing is really the habit of looking for God at work and acknowledging it when you see it. Thanking God is sort of like putting sweetener in a bitter drink. Negative thoughts are just going to make the drink that much more bitter. A thankful heart, a joyful heart, a heart that believes that God has said, "I know the plans I have for you. They are for good and not for evil; to give you a future and a hope."
In the midst of this small dot in your life, look at the big picture and say, "Thank You, Lord."