Being Thankful For Our Blessings All Year Long

Thankful

What’s up Hobbitses? I hope that you all had an awesome Thanksgiving! My good friend Craig Cooper was kind enough to write another article about some of the things that have been on his heart. Before you start reading it, understand that both Craig and I are firm believer in reading the Bible in context. That means, you can’t take one snippet out of context and expect to get the full or accurate meaning out of it. Because of that, we have added links for you to read the full chapters. You can also read the full books, and check out different translations. We have some awesome Bible resources in this day and age, so don’t hesitate to use them! I love you guys, and am praying for you as usual! Now, without further ado, take it away brotha Craig!

Being Thankful For Our Blessings

There are certain paths that we take in life. For most people in America, that first path is getting a High school education. After we walk at our graduation we come to a crossroads. We can continue to go forward with our education through college, we can turn left and get a full time job to try to make a living for ourselves right now, or we can do a mix of both. Somewhere along the way you might get married, have kids, move into a house, or make some other major or minor life changing decisions. There is an alternative of course (which would be doing nothing) but,

“That doesn’t taste very nice, now does it precious? No, not very nice at’ll my love.” -Gollum

That’s a whole nother can of worms for a different post. Let’s just say for now; God doesn’t want us to have idle hands, and we have to work to make a living. That’s just the way this world works, like it or not.

But like I said, this post isn’t about being a sluggard. It is, however, partly about the struggle of having to go to work every day to make a living for yourself (and possibly your significant other/kids). One area of scripture that led me to deciding to write this article was the story of the wandering Israelites in the desert. They wandered, they grumbled, and they resented Moses and God for how long the journey to get to the promised land of milk and honey was taking. They complained about what God had provided for them to make it through the journey.

Numbers 11:1-6 (ESV)

1 And the people complained in the hearing of the LORD about their misfortunes, and when the LORD heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the LORD burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp. 2 Then the people cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the LORD, and the fire died down. 3 So the name of that place was called Taberah, because the fire of the LORD burned among them. 4 Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat! 5 We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. 6 But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.”

Read all of Numbers 11 (as well as different translations) by clicking here!

Full Pantry

 

Are we like this? Do we get upset with God when we don’t get things just the way we want them to be (or exactly when we want them)? God was giving the Israelites protection. He was giving them food, water, and He even led them out of the slavery and suffering that they had under the oppression of the Egyptians who hated them. God was leading them to their promised land.

Now, step back a bit and think about this. Hasn’t God brought us out of our slavery? He has given us a chance to be freed from our bondage to sin! He sent Jesus to forgive us, and set us free! He has even given the Holy Spirit to live among His followers! We are being led to our promised land in heaven. That is the big picture we need to see. I also believe that God can help us here on Earth, maybe not to the point of being millionaires or anything like that (I don’t believe in the prosperity gospel) however;

 Matthew 7: 9-11 (ESV)

9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Read all of Matthew 7 here!

I believe that God can help us and make us successful, but only successful in what really matters. He’s not going to let us go through something unless it’s going to ultimately be of benefit. Sometimes we might go through a tough time, but ultimately we get through it. Even if we die from something awful like cancer, which is an unfortunate and common occurrence these days, Paul said this:

Philippians 1:21 (ESV)

21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Read all of Philippians 1 here!

No matter what happens, God is bringing His followers to their promised land.  The trials of this “wandering” during our time on this Earth, or in this season of struggle, will come to an end. Never stop being thankful for what God provides for you. Do you not have a house to provide shelter, do you not have food and water, do you not even have things like the internet for entertainment (and the ability to view this post)?

Also, don’t let yourself be overly proud with the things “you’ve” accomplished here on this Earth, but give the glory to God.

Deuteronomy 8:11-20 (ESV)

11 “Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, 12 lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, 13 and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, 15 who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock, 16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end. 17 Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ 18 You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. 19 And if you forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. 20 Like the nations that the LORD makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the LORD your God.

Read all of Deuteronomy 8 here!

In conclusion I just want to say:

No matter what, seek God. No matter what, give Him the glory. Serve God because you love Him.

Some things I would suggest asking yourself and thinking on are:

  • Have I been upset with God for the circumstances in my life?
  • What manna (blessings) in my life am I taking for granted?
  • Do I trust God, and do I trust that He knows what’s best for me?
  • Has there ever been a time in the past that God didn’t get me through?

These are just a few things you might ask. Maybe you feel like everything is going wrong in your life, and that everything is a hardship that you have to deal with.  If so, maybe these questions are better to ask yourself:

  • Is there a major sin or obstacle in my life that is hindering me from the joy of God?
  • Do I seek God’s guidance and strength through prayer and time reading The Bible?
  • Could God be trying to help me to become a stronger person by this situation or circumstance?

If this is you, maybe meeting with a Christian friend to talk about the situation will help to clear up your head. I also recommend reading the book of Job , he lost pretty much everything and went through incredible hardship at no fault of his own. When he came through it, however, he was blessed with twice as much as he had before the trial. I also recommend reading the first chapter of James. These two books taught me a lot, and have helped me to overcome many obstacles in my life. The first thing you should do is try to evaluate yourself and your situation and make sure it’s not something that you are doing that is hindering your relationship with God. If it’s not something like that, then maybe it’s a trial you are meant to go through in order to become a stronger child of God.

I hope this post helps you in some way, if you need any prayer or have any questions don’t be afraid to comment below. If you’d like to send a more private message you can email me here. God bless, and I hope you had a great Thanksgiving week!

-Craig Cooper

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Below is the Photo Source for “Being a Young Adult and Following Your Dreams” These artist(s) do not necessarily share my viewpoints, but have kindly released their work under a creative commons licence. Follow the links below to find the original artists and copyright license:

 

White Thesis – Gollum, Robert Benner – Pantry

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