Welcome to our Thanksgiving Sunday encounter at Christ International Community Church. It is the way we publicly acknowledge and celebrate the divine goodness of God corporately. I am reminded of the phrase adopted by an Insurance Company – “Life comes at you fast.” Popularized in 2004 by American Insurance Company, Nationwide. They launched the “Life comes at you fast” campaign humorously to demonstrate how quickly things can change. Things can go wrong in a blink of an eye. Within these situations, it is good to find something to be thankful for. Having insurance when these calamities happen is even more a reason to give thanks. When we get into a fender bender, the radiator may burst and other parts on the car can go bad. When you see the fender bent you won’t be as distraught. You can say “thank you God for insurance.” This is a place to thank God for the coverage rather than the damage.
Today let us reflect and think about our personal testimonials. Twenty-minutes or two hours would never be enough time to share the wonderful things that God has done or will do. Let us set aside every opposition and show our gratitude of thanks and multiple victories. Satan deserves this blackeye! We are grateful! Some of us have endured the loss of loved ones, some have even experienced sickness and different hardships that keep our prayers burning on the altar of God. We expect something to happen. So, we PUSH (pray until something happens). We have seen, in our house of CICC, people being saved from untimely death, so, we have so much to be thankful for.
Being thankful, according to Merriam Webster, simply means being conscious of benefits received. However, I am sure we all have our own personal definition. Even when believers of Jesus Christ depart from this life or sleep in the Lord, and we all will, the Word of God tells us that we not do not sorrow as the world does, as if we have no hope (I Thessalonians 4:13). The Word of God also tells us in I Thessalonians 5:16 to Rejoice evermore. The same Chapter further instructs us to pray without ceasing. (5:16). Let us look at the foundational scripture of God’s message located in I Thessalonians 5:18. “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” You may say, “how is it possible for me to give thanks when I just lost my job, when I don’t know how I will pay my bills, or perhaps when sickness has just visited me leaving me in the valley of the shadow of physical and spiritual death?” You are still alive yet dealing with the residue of that infirmity. Maybe your marriage is in shambles, and you are saying where is God? I just can’t take it anymore! Maybe you have been coming to Church and feeling discouraged. Perhaps you don’t come to Church because you leave out worse than when you came. I pray that will no longer be your portion in Jesus’ name!
GIVING THANKS FRUSTRATES THE DEVIL! You keep him on the chopping block of defeat when you give thanks. Lift up holy hands and say it loud! Thank you, Lord, for the good and not so good. It is all for your glory! Beloved, the author of Thessalonians said that it is God’s will for us to give thanks no matter what is going on. You do know that giving thanks and praise confuses the enemy. We have a cloud of witnesses. 2 Chronicles in the 20th Chapter talks about King Jehoshaphat not having a great army but was being attacked by multiple enemies. He sought the Lord in prayer and received a Word from the prophet. His worship became a weapon. Skillful strategic worship reached heaven. The enemies of King Jehoshaphat were consumed and confused by the sound of heaven. Praise confuses the enemy! We are weatherproof, we have an assurance far greater than the insurance world may offer. There is no guarantee in worldly insurance.
Protection of your material gain or having a burial plot does not compare to God’s plan. They are both good to have. The assurance in Christ gives us so much more. We have benefits one earth but also eternal life because of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ’s blood. He took the fault for you and me. The crimson stain being the prize purchase for our sins so that we may have life and its abundance. Oh, give thanks unto the Lord for He is good and worthy of all our praise. No matter what the problem is, focus on the promises of God. My final reminder comes out of the book of Romans. The Word of God declares in 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you!
November 27, 2022– Rev. Crystal Pinager