I’m a cup-half-full type of person (or at least I hope so). But even the optimist can struggle to find life’s silver lining. Is there hope for the pessimist
Society doesn’t help us find the good in the bad, the diamond in the coal, the flowers after the storm. The noise of news and media mania only points our eyes to the coal, the storm, the bad. And then the positive is an afterthought, 20 seconds of copy at the end of the program.
But God reminds us that the new-heart gives thanks for all things, the storm and the flowerfull effects.
“Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father” (Ephesians 5:20).
Giving thanks for all things is done in Christ Jesus. “In Christ Jesus” puts the Gospel in our Thanksgiving and allows us to thank God in all things. Case in point, Paul is writing from prison! And so, considering we’ve been redeemed; we can thank God in all circumstances.
I love the perspective of Pastor and Bible teacher, Matthew Henry whose reflection on theft while traveling so much on horseback (either after being robbed or because not being robbed) puts a handle on this briefcase of truth. Have you been robbed? It’s no fun. The Gospel gives thanks to those feelings of victimization that flow from being taken.
“Let me be thankful . . . fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.”
This is the depth of Gospel-centered Thanks-giving. And it is, solid-rock, soul-satisfying truth. Who are we but totally dependent souls given grace to grow in Christ Jesus? Who are we but thieves being changed into givers? Who are we but grumblers being changed to thankers? Who are we but sinners being changed into Christ-like citizens of eternity. And that soul is the Gospel optimist that smells the flowers and even sleeps in the boat amidst the storm.