Thanksgiving: A Key to Fulfillment
by Ron Susek
©Golden Quill Publications
Please sit down for a moment beside a man whose clothes are unkempt from dusty journeys; a man obviously estranged from life's fineries. He's just a drifter, you may think, but engage him in conversation before passing judgment.
His clothing flaps open in the breeze and you notice scars. You feel too shy to ask what happened and he does not refer to them.
The man proves to be of wide experience, profound in knowledge and mentally sound. His disposition is cheery, bright and peaceful, soliciting no sympathy. You have seen street people "down-on-their-luck" who fell from aristocratic backgrounds because of mental disorders. But this man is neither delusionary nor depressed.
Intrigued, you ask him what keeps him going? How can he know so much, have so little yet be so fulfilled?
"That's beautiful," you say. "Who wrote that?"
"I wrote it to some friends at Thessalonica."
"So, is your whole purpose in life to fulfill God's will with a thankful heart despite your circumstances?"
"Indeed. That is one major key to fulfillment."
Does that mean everyone must be poor?"
"No, no," he laughs, "it means that you fulfill God's will with a thankful heart no matter where you are placed."
"Why does God make some circumstances pleasant and others difficult?"
"To fulfill his purposes. Look at it this way; if I had invited you to sit beside me on a polished throne rather than on this dusty curb you may not hear what I have to share about Jesus. So, I am thankful for this curb if it helps you hear me better.
He continues: "It was not pleasant for Jesus the night before the cross. Yet, he gave thanks for the broken bread and poured out wine that represented his own death that would take away the sin of the world.
"As it was with Jesus, so it must be with us. Our thankfulness must not spring from a passing pleasantry, but in fulfilling the eternal will of God."
You may ask, "Is God's will the same for everyone?"
"Not as far as position, but yes in light of purpose. There are many positions in life but only one towering purpose, and that is to glorify God. Thanksgiving is an attitude toward God that empowers us through our present passage."
Obviously, I am creating a fictitious conversation between you and the Apostle Paul. I think, however, that it may be close to what he would say, don't you? The real question is this: is fulfilling God's will so meaningful to you that your heart springs with thanksgiving in every situation where you have opportunity to fulfill his purpose? Such are the most fulfilled people on earth.
Immanuel: God is with you,
11 Thessalonians 5:16-18
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