The timing of our giving thanks reflects the depth of our faith. It’s all about the “Amen.”
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.
With Thanksgiving behind us, it’s time to resist the temptation to return to normal life, especially if your normal life is not one of constant thankfulness (1 Thess. 5:16-18). When God chose Abraham to be the father of all those who would believe in Him through faith, He came to him not with a list of demands but with a few simple but profound promises. Abraham’s response to God’s seemingly impossible promises serves as a great example for us all. God told him to try to count the stars in the clear night sky. Then He said, “So shall your descendants be.”
Abraham (then named Abram) was eighty-six years old. Sarai, his wife, was younger, but barren and well beyond child-bearing age. God’s promise seemed preposterous, but yet, Abraham believed. To help us understand what might have been going on in Abraham’s mind, consider the vastness of the universe. The speed of light is 186,000 miles per second. A light from an explosion on our sun would take 7-1/2 minutes to reach earth. If a light started at one edge of our galaxy, it would take 100,000 years to reach the other edge! And there are billions of other galaxies!
Of course, Abraham knew nothing about the speed of light or the size of the universe, but he understood something that changed his life. Romans 1:20 tells us that God’s attributes, His eternal power, and His divine nature are clearly expressed in His creation. I believe this is what happened when Abraham looked up at the sky that night. He didn’t just see a lot of stars. He saw God Himself. He knew that if God was powerful enough to create and set all those stars in place, He would have no trouble making him the father of a great multitude (Gen. 17:5).
In Hebrew, the word for “believed” is the same as “Amen.” Abraham responded to God with an “Amen.” Without saying a word, he was expressing his joy and thankfulness for what God would certainly do, in spite of his earthly circumstances. He struggled from time to time as God tested him as he waited…and waited. He, like most of us, tried (unsuccessfully) to figure out how God was going to do it. At times, he took matters into his own hands, but God never rescinded His promise. He kept testing His chosen servant until has faith had been perfected.
Here’s the lesson for us. Why do we wait until God fulfills His promises to thank Him? Why do we wait until He provides and even better job after you have been laid off to thank Him? His promises to us are sure and certain. Look how Abraham responded with no knowledge of God except what he learned from looking into the sky. We have the entirety of Scripture. Many of us have a history of experiencing God’s faithfulness in our tough times. What’s our excuse?
When our world is rocked by catastrophe or upheaval is the time to say “Amen” to God’s promises and give thanks for God’s perfect solution which is as sure as the sun coming up tomorrow. We must take our eyes off our circumstances and focus on the same God who created the universe with a word from His mouth. It’s time for an “Amen” of thanksgiving.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Why did Pilgrims’ pants always fall down?
Because they wore their belt buckles on their hats.
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