IN CHRIST FIRST & IN THE STORM SECOND
The past few months have been strange, and somewhat difficult. Like so many people, I’ve been figuring out how to work from home, get groceries, and maintain my exercise regimen. Being home so much of my days has been tough. I’ve even started to hear complaints and arguments in my community.
We have not suffered, just been inconvenienced. None the less, our normal way of living has been interrupted, and possibly changed forever…
Is there anything in this storm that we can be grateful for?
My sister lives in Maine, and last month she got a fierce snow storm and lost all power in her home for six days. She had no running water, no refrigeration, and no regular heat or lights.
I Thessalonians 5:18 says “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
The writer is not saying be thankful for trouble, but rather be thankful for God and His provision in the midst of our storms and troubles. Always remember that you are in Christ FIRST, and in the storm SECOND!
The storm knocked out my sister’s power, but yet she found herself thankful in the midst of it.
She was able to melt the snow for water to flush the toilet and wash up. She was thankful!
She was able to bury coolers with her perishables in the snow. She was thankful!
And, of course, she was very thankful to the electric company when their power was back on.
The Apostle Paul was constantly challenged to be thankful. While imprisoned in Rome, he wrote; “Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Being thankful involves being grateful. Giving thanks with a grateful heart means looking at what we have, not what we don’t have. We have so much! God’s love, our family and friends, our nation, freedom … and the list goes on. An attitude of gratitude is the Lord’s will for us. It will help heal us in so many ways.
Ten lepers pleaded loudly with Jesus to heal them. Hearing them, He healed all ten…but only one said returned to say thank you. Although they knew God, they did not give thanks to him for the miracle they begged him to perform. When we recognize the Lord as our everything, we should automatically glorify him – Jesus would then be magnified and elevated in our hearts above all else.
Billy Graham said “Ingratitude is sin, just as surely as is lying or stealing or immorality is sin. This is one of the Bible’s indictments against rebellious humanity.”
Although times may be difficult, we are to remind ourselves that we are IN Christ FIRST, and IN the storm SECOND!
I Thessalonians 5:18
“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”