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Giving thanks for all fortune

by | Nov 27, 2013 | Focus on Living, Gratitude | 0 comments

Read: Philippians 4: 11-13

11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Reflect:

“We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is “good,” because is it good, if “bad” because it works in us patience, humility, and the contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country.” C.S. Lewis

On Thanksgiving of 1991, my family moved to Northern Kentucky. It was a memorable day and a memorable Thanksgiving meal the following day at a local restaurant.

As the C.S. Lewis quote above says,  we are thankful for the “good” and like all families we have plenty of “opportunities” for the working of patience.  Life is always a challenge and I imagine we’ll continue to have our challenging moments in the next twenty-two years , but it reminds me of the familiar passage above from Paul’s letter to the Philippians.

Here’s three brief observations in Paul’s writing:

1. “I have learned”.  For most of us learning is a process full of advances and failures.  From his writing, it seems Paul was not always content in every circumstance, but over time he learned the secret to embrace the life he led in Christ.

2. “I know”.  Paul’s knowledge of “need” and “plenty” was not just an academic exercise. He didn’t just know about poverty and pain or prosperity,  he experienced the ups and downs of life just like us and in most ways his life was much more challenging.

3. “I can”.  Hungry or Satisfied. Wealthy or Poor. At the end of the day Paul put his trust and hope in God not in his circumstances and the result for Paul was the ability to “do everything through him who gives me strength.”

At the beginning of this day, let us begin to learn and know and do all through the strength of Christ who is at work in us.

Respond:

At the beginning of this day, let us begin to learn and know and do all through the strength of Christ who is at work in us.

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