Save Yourself Some Pain
Ten Tips for New and Growing Christians
7. Thanksgiving—Do the Right Thing
For the Christian, every day should be Thanksgiving Day. We should even be thankful in the midst of problems. The Apostle Paul said, “I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation” (2 Corinthians 7:4). He knew that God was working all things together for his good, even though he was going through trials (Romans 8:28).
Problems will come your way. God will see to it personally that you grow as a Christian. He will allow the storms, to send your roots deep into the soil of His Word. We pray more in the midst of problems, but it’s been well said that you will see more from your knees, than you will on your tip toes.
A man once watched a butterfly struggling to get out of its cocoon. In an effort to help it, he took a razor blade, and carefully slit the edge of the cocoon. The butterfly escaped form its problem … and immediately died.
It is God’s way to have the butterfly struggle. It is the struggle that causes its tiny heart to beat fast, and send the life’s blood into its wings.
Trials have their purpose. They make us struggle—they bring us to our knees. They are the cocoon in which we often find ourselves. It is there that the life’s blood of faith in God helps us spread our wings.
Faith and thanksgiving are close friends. If you have faith in God, you will be thankful because you know His loving hand is upon you, even though you are in a lion’s den. That will give you a deep sense of joy, and joy is the barometer of the depth of faith you have in God. Let me give you an example.
Imagine if I said I would give you one million dollars if you ripped out the last page of today’s newspaper, and mailed it to me. Of course, you don’t believe that I would do that. But imagine if you did. Imagine if you had knowledge of more than 1,000 people who had sent in the page, and every one received their million dollars—no strings attached. More than that. You had actually called me, and I had assured you personally that I would keep my word. If you believed me, wouldn’t you have joy? If you didn’t believe me—no joy.
The amount of joy you have would be a barometer as to how much you believed my promise.
We have so much to be thankful for. God has given us “exceeding great and precious promises” that are “more to be desired than gold.” Do yourself a big favor—believe those promises, thank God continually for them, and “let your joy be full.”
An old farmer once had an ungodly relative visit him. After the farmer had bowed his head and thanked God for the food they were about to eat, the relative rudely said, “What did you do that for? There’s no God. We live in an age of enlightenment.” The old farmer smiled and said, “There is one on the farm who doesn’t thank God before he eats.” The relative sat up and said, “Who is this enlightened one?” To which the farmer quietly replied, “My pig.”
Important principles that can save a great deal of pain
Evangelism—Our Most Sobering Task
“You probably have a limited amount of time after your conversion to impact your unsaved friends and family with the Gospel…Here’s some advice that will save you a great deal of grief…” [Read more]
Warfare—Praise The Lord and Pass the Ammunition
“When you became a Christian, you stepped right into the heat of an age-old battle. You have a three-fold enemy—the world, the flesh, and the devil… Let’s look at these three resistant enemies…” [Read more]
Thanksgiving—Do the Right Thing
Supporting God’s work and workers—The Last Frontier
“It was once said that the wallet is the ‘last frontier.’ It is the final area to be conquered—the last thing that comes to God in surrender…” [Read more]
Troubleshooting: Cults, Atheists, Skeptics
“When cults tell you that you must acknowledge God’s name to be saved, that you must worship on a certain day that you must be baptized by an elder of their church, don’t panic. Merely go back to the Instruction Manual…” [Read more]