By: Jeremy Rands
The Christmas season is my happy time of year. I want thanksgiving to come and go so that all that we have to think about is Christmas. I love the lights, shopping, music, church programs, movies and anything associated with Christmas! I feel like the Christmas season carries through New Year’s Day, and then 3-4 weeks into January things start to feel different.
In NW Ohio the weather is cold. The sky is gray for weeks on end, the thrill and excitement of Christmas are now just a memories, seemingly moments in the past. This can cause my outlook to become negative and discouraging. My mood can become one of feeling fatigued and cynical. I can forget to be grateful and thankful because I am so focused on myself and the circumstances that I find myself in. Have you ever felt this way?
The Apostle Paul is going to address the Corinthian church for sinful living. They just aren’t living the life the Lord would be honored with. The circumstances could have discouraged Paul. They could have affected him in a negative way but instead Paul starts the Epistle of 1 Corinthians being thankful. How can a person be thankful when life is difficult? How can a person be thankful when people they love have disappointed them? How can a person be thankful when the circumstances they are facing seem uncertain and dreary? Paul was able to be thankful because he turned his attention to God. In 1 Corinthians 1:4 Paul says, “I thank my God always…”
What did Paul thank God for?
1. The Grace of God
1 Corinthians 1:4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given by Jesus Christ
2. Life is Improved by Him
1 Corinthians 1:5 That in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge.
3. The Testimony of Christ
1 Corinthians 1:6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you.
4. The Coming of Jesus Christ
1 Corinthians 1:7b Waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
5. Sustaining Us ‘Till the End
1 Corinthians 1:8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
6. Because He is Faithful
1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his son Jesus Christ our Lord.
No matter what place you find yourself in, what circumstances you are facing or how often you have been hurt by others, there is much to be thankful for! Keep your heart focused on Christ. Stay encouraged. God is faithful.