Thursday, November 26, 2009
Mid-Day Devotion 11/26/09
To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
The blessings of this life that carry from the temporal existence to the glorious triumphant Spiritual existence. What is it that we are thankful for in our lives? What is the truth that carries us through even the darkest of days of as we wander through this world looking for that abiding sense of peace that will bring us comfort and joy? What defines our happiness as we look to our days and our years here amidst this corporeal plane?
Today we celebrate Thanksgiving, a time where we enjoy the solace that we find with family and friends. We put the troubles that we may face in our lives behind us even for a short time and we just spend the day resting, as we find ourselves grateful for what we have. It’s one of those times were we stop thinking about what we could want or what we feel like we are owed or what it is that we should have or anything else and we give thanks knowing that we are truly blessed in our lives, even if it isn’t with the material wealth that the world tells us we need to find peace. We carve our turkeys or our hams, we watch our football games and all of our conflicts and our woes seem far distant and far removed, even if it is just for a little while.
Even if we can’t necessarily see it, even if it is hard for us to understand, or the gifts that we have are far removed from our lives, we are sincerely blessed in our lives, even if it seems like we don’t have a lot or that the past year or years have been filled with troubles that seemingly have no end in sight. There is just so much that we have to praise God for in our lives as comfort and peace in our lives are not as distant as it may perhaps seem to be at times.
Yet what is it that we should truly and rightly be grateful for? What is it that we should give the most thanks for?
Throughout the world there are those who are held in bondage and captivity, they are held hostage by the forces of wickedness and evil in this world with no end in sight. Ripped away from all that they know and love, all whom they know and love, these men and women are held in grim and dark estate. They have no idea what it is that they have done to deserve the agony and the pain that is now being inflicted on them. They have no idea if they will ever see those whom they care so dearly for ever again as they long to draw close to them once again.
We know some of them by name, and yet it’s just a small number. There are so many more who we don’t know, or who we will never really know. They die without us ever really even having known that they existed or that this iniquity was inflicted on them. They remain nameless and faceless with the only people to mark their lives being their families and their friends who are only left to wonder about what their fate was. It is a hurtful, dark way to go, one that is filled with so many questions for those who are left behind as they try to find some sort of meaning in this. The evil that has burdened them as they too find themselves imprisoned, not physically, but spiritually by the dark and wicked acts of those who stole the lives of those whom they love, and ultimately a piece of theirs as well gives them only one answer, that there is such suffering and sorrow in this world that is beyond compare.
Amidst this we have so much to be grateful for, so much to be thankful for in our lives. We live in freedom. Perhaps it may seem as if nothing in our lives are going our way, perhaps it may seem like things are just not going right, but we have the blessings of liberty. Our lives can find peace as we strive to do more, to do better with the gifts that we have been given to us by the hand of God.
Those blessings and those gifts, they are not hard to find if we just take the time to look. The Apostle Paul speaks of them in his epistle as he talks about the confidence that we have in the Lord and the faith we have been given through Christ Jesus, our Savior. Even in our times of hardship and our times of tribulation those blessings are there for us to take hold of, and to rest in through the peace of the Lord that transcends our base human knowledge and understanding. It is a richness of life that we are given through the atonement we are granted in the life and the death, the encompassing sacrifice and the conquest of the grave by the Messiah. It is the liberty that we are granted through the power of the Spirit that we are reconciled to our God by.
God wishes for us all to know this love and this joy, and to abide in it all of the days of our lives. He wants us to dwell with this faith in our hearts that we may not grow faint amidst the troubles that we face in this temporal existence that we can come to the glorious triumph of the spirit. He wants us to be thankful for it even when times are hard, even when the days are rough, knowing that yes, these things too shall pass and that no matter what the world heaves upon us, no matter what the world thrusts at us, no matter what the world takes from us it can never take from us His blessed and wondrous assurances of salvation. But more than this He wants us to spread this message and to pray for those who do not dwell amidst earthly freedom that their spirit may be so moved by his love that they will find the peace of the Lord in their lives.
So as you carve your turkey, as you think about all that you are thankful for, as you remember the blessings that encompass your life, even if they seem far distant in your life, remember those who are not as fortunate as you. Remember the prisoners and the hostages, the captives and the slaves who are held far from their homes, far from all those whom they love, that they may draw confidence in the Lord and the faith that comes through His love in the gift of grace that He offers by and through the power of His encompassing Spirit. Remember them and know that through God’s love they shall find their peace either in this life or the next as the Lord draws them close to Him in the love that He has for them as a compassionate and merciful Heavenly Father.
Remember them and draw your hope from Him in the struggles of this world, remember your peace and comfort from the Lord and pray that all will be able to abide in the same liberty and comfort that does come through Him and by Him amidst the love that He has for all of us in our lives.
Then it shall truly and rightly be a blessed thanksgiving, then it shall truly and rightly be a blessed day as we come to see everything that is wondrous and glorious, that God has to offer to us.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.