People expect others to show appreciation for acts of goodness shown by them.  These acts extend through all ages and social classes.  Children appreciate the kindness of their parents and parents also appreciate the obedience of their children.  Leaders become grateful when their supporters sing their praises for efficient discharge of their duties and truthfulness.  In all cases, one must give thanks.

Thanksgiving is an expression of gratitude for an act of goodness done to one.  It is usually expected that a gift will bring gladness into our hearts, and not sorrow. But the ways of God are mysterious and humans do not understand that He sometimes causes unfavourable things to happen to us.  Disaster may strike when least expected but, like Job, there is no need to criticise God.  “And the Lord said unto Satan (the adversary), Behold, he is in thine hand, but save his life’.  So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.  And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal, and he sat down among the ashes.  And his wife said unto him Dost thou still retain thine integrity?  curse God and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh.  What?  shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?  In all this Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 2:7-10). Job refrained from blaming God. David also took consolation from God’s intervention.  The people of Israel frequently met such situations and had to learn to cry unto the living God (Judges 6:1-14)  Scripture urges people to give thanks to God and trust Him on all occasions.

The fingers on a hand are all different, but each has a separate function that makes the hand whole when the fingers are used together.  Spiritual gifts operated on the same principle for the advancement of the church (1 Corinthians 12:4-12).  Paul advised the Philippians to seek their happiness in God and to give thanks to Him always.  Success and satisfaction are given by God, but not by strength.  Strength will prove useless if the Lord is against us.  It happened to Jonah (Jonah 1:2-5), and to the Israelites many times (Joshua 7:2-5).  The pains of death, sickness, heartbreak and misfortune have to be accepted as well as the joy of childbirth, wealth and good health.

Jeremiah:29:11-13; “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.  And ye shall seek me, and find me when ye shall search for me with all your heart’”.  “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (3 John 2).  The Lord,wishes goodness, love, righteousness and prosperity to all his children who obey him.

David said, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever” (Psalms 23:6).  Peace be with us all in the Lord at his coming to set up on the earth God’s peaceful Kingdom.

Bro. Joseph Oppong (Shama, Ghana)

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