Summary: In 1 thessalonians 5, Paul tells us to be thankful in all situations through being joyful and prayerful.
No Grumps Allowed
Intro: Max Lucado gives us this scenario.
. You came home cranky because a deadline got moved up. She came home grumpy because the day-care forgot to give your five-year-old her throat medicine. Each of you was wanting a little sympathy from the other, but neither got any. So there you sit at the dinner table—cranky and grumpy—with little Emily, your daughter. Emily folds her hands to pray (as she has been taught), and the two of you bow your heads (but not your hearts) and listen. From where this prayer comes, God only knows.
“God, it’s Emily. How are you? I’m fine, thank you. Mom and Dad are mad. I don’t know why. We’ve got birds and toys and mashed potatoes and each other. Maybe you can get them to stop being mad? Please do, or it’s just gonna be you and me having any fun tonight. Amen.”
The prayer is answered before it’s finished, you both look up in the middle and laugh at the end and shake your heads and say you’re sorry. And you both thank God for the little voice who reminded you about what really matters. ( Max Lucado)
.How many of us have had days like that.
.Sometimes we just want to have our own pity party don’t we?
. Sometimes it’s hard to be thankful.
. Today we are going to share our thanksgiving meal together as a church.
. It’s the season of thanksgiving. The season of family and fun together.
. Our scripture this morning instructs us on how to live a thankful life. Not just during the Holidays,
. Paul had been forced to leave Thessalonica soon after the conversion of some of the Jews there and many Gentiles. He writes this letter of Thanksgiving and instruction to a young church that has some questions. Mostly they wanted to know about believers who died before Christ’s return and when Jesus was coming back. Here is where we get some prophecy about Jesus’ return. Paul answers their questions and tells them to stay alert for the Day of the Lord is coming.
. In his final remarks he tells them how to live a life of faith as Christians.
. We are going to look at three of those verses this morning in light of this thanksgiving season.
. IN 5: 16-18, Paul writes.
. 16Always be joyful.
17Never stop praying.
18Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
. We are going to start in verse 18, Be thankful in all circumstances.
. In “The Hiding Place”, Dutch woman Corrie ten Boom wrote of her family’s experience undergoing the trial of concentration camps under the Third Reich in World War II. Though not Jews themselves, she, her father, and her sister, Betsie, were sent to a series of prison camps for harboring Jews in their Netherlands home. At one point, the two sisters are sent to their third camp, Ravensbruck, and upon their arrival at the barracks, they realize that among other horrors of the camp their barracks are completely infested with fleas. QUOTE: p. 180-181
“Fleas!” I cried. “Betsie, the place is swarming with them!…how can we live in such a place?”
“Show us. Show us how.” It was said so matter of factly it took me a second to realize she was praying. More and more the distinction between prayer and the rest of life seemed to be vanishing for Betsie.
“Corrie!” she said excitedly. “He’s given us the answer! Before we asked, as He always does! In the Bible this morning. Where was it? Read that part again!”
I glanced down the long dim aisle to make sure no guard was in sight, then drew the Bible from its pouch. “It was in First Thessalonians,” I said….”Here it is; ‘Comfort the frightened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all…’” It seemed written expressly to Ravensbruck.
“Go on,” said Betsie. “That wasn’t all.”
“Oh yes; ‘…to one another and to all. Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus—‘”
“That’s it, Corrie! That’s His answer. ‘Give thanks in all circumstances!’ That’s what we can do. We can start right now to thank God for every single thing about this new barracks!”
I stared at her, then around me at the dark, foul-aired room.
“Such as?” I said.
“Such as being assigned here together.”
I bit my lip, “Oh yes, Lord Jesus!”
“Such as what you’re holding in your hands.”
I looked down at the Bible. “Yes! Thank You, dear Lord, that there was no inspection when we entered here! Thank You for all the women, here in this room, who will meet You in these pages.”