By Helen Knueven
Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.
I am drawn to these scriptures this Thanksgiving. Even though Paul wrote from prison, he wrote with contentment. While in need, he resonated with confidence and a grateful attitude as he realized Christ alone to be his strength.
The Phillipian church, known to be the poorest church, gave Paul a gift that he needed very much. It caused Paul to rejoice for their expressed love.
In this time in our country, we are faced with many uncertainties. Homelessness, unemployment, and the threat of natural and manmade disasters dot our country’s future with question marks. We who look towards the unforeseen future can also look back at God’s faithfulness.
I would like to say Happy Thanksgiving! Because in this all – we who seek the Lord will not be disappointed in our pursuit of Him. He will not leave us alone. His presence is finer and more precious than any possession or experience we have had or still desire. He alone is our strength!
The Lord does not delight in our suffering – not does He necessarily always delight in our abounding – the Lord delights in us.
Today, if you are fortunate to be with family and share a meal, would you let yourself be courageous and reach out to someone? Who knows? Your gift may cause them to rejoice as the Philippians’ gift did for Paul. You may not need to look very far to find someone who needs help or encouragement.
Perhaps you are not so fortunate as to be with family today. Consider He has promised to never leave you or forsake you. The presence in the Lord within you can cause not only you, but someone else great comfort. Who knows how God can use us when our focus is on Him instead of ourselves? Our testimony of Christ’s love is our best gift. Although it’s not always easy to shift focus, when we focus on Calvary something happens. Someone you know needs what you have.
My parents’ secret coping mechanism was finding someone poorer than themselves to share a small meal with. To be honest, it wasn’t always easy finding someone in that situation. But as a child, I thought we were rich! And I guess, now that I think about it, we were after all. It was their way of showing His love to strangers.
Prayer – Lord, you deserve the highest praise and the most extravagant thanks – help me to develop a continual thankful heart. Thank you for your most extravagant gift of your Son, Jesus Christ!