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I Give Thanks to My God – Blog & Podcast

November 16, 2018

In Philippians 1, beginning in verse 3, Paul gives a greeting not unlike what he gives to the recipients of his other letters. He expresses his love and thankfulness for those people, but in that, he gives credit where credit is due. Let me read a little bit of this passage and see if you can see what I’m talking about. See if you can grasp who he is really thanking.

Philippians 1:3-7a, “I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Indeed, it is right for me to think this way about all of you, because I have you in my heart, and you are all partners with me in grace…

It is clear that Paul understands who to thank for all of the blessings. In this case, the blessings that brought him together with the people of Philippi for partnership in the gospel. It is God who initiated it, God who, by the power of the Holy Spirit, drew Paul unto Himself and saved him. It is God who, by the power of the Holy Spirit, revealed himself to these Philippians and built a community of faith there. It is God who enabled them to do Kingdom work. It is because of the work of God that Paul can give thanks and have deep affection for the Philippians believers.

When I reflect back on my life, I am aware of the fact that nothing good has happened in my life apart from the hand of God. I have breath to breathe, grace to live each day, a family that loves me, friends, church…so many blessings.

But what if things weren’t going so well in my life? Would I be able to still give thanks to my God for blessings?

I heard a saying once that “It may not be well with my circumstances, but it is well with my soul”. A mistake we often make is in evaluating God based upon our circumstances. If things are going well, then praise the Lord. If things are tough, then I need thee, O I need thee. The truth is, God is so much bigger than our circumstances.

I was in a seminary class one time and in the prayer time before class began a young pastor shared that his wife was due to give birth any day, and the doctors had concluded that the child would very likely not survive. Another young pastor stood up and said that he and his wife had gone through a similar situation and that he wanted to share something. He said “If God gives you and your wife a healthy baby, then God is good. If He chooses not to give you a healthy baby, then God is still good.” That penetrated my heart and still resonates today. It’s true.

God is not good based upon what is happening in my life. God is good because He is. Because He is God. Because He IS good.

I have much to be thankful for. I have many people in my life that have been a tremendous blessing to me and I need to tell them how thankful I am for them. But Paul had it right. I need to tell them that I thank God for them. Paul said, “I thank my God for EVERY remembrance of you”. That is powerful.

Paul’s perspective is right. It is He who started the good work in me and it is He who WILL be faithful to complete it. I give thanks to my God, for He IS good, and He IS faithful.

Tony Watson
Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church
Palestine, TX

From → Blog Posts, Podcasts

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