Four-Wheel Drive Thanksgiving
Two-wheel drive thanksgiving seems adequate when the traffic light stays green, sunny weather comes for the picnic, we are promoted, our grandkids visit, or they return home. By contrast, four-wheel drive thanksgiving perseveres even when God seems AWOL or deaf. It takes us where two-wheel drive thanksgiving cannot. Fully healthy believers are thankful in adversity, pain, and suffering. Such thanksgiving demonstrates trust in the God who works all things together for good (Romans 8:29).
How much does it take to stop our thanksgiving? For me, it is disappointingly little. Thanksgiving is the last thing on my mind when the lawnmower will not start. Anger and thanksgiving cannot occupy my mind at the same time. You do not have to guess which one dominates in such situations. I focus on the 10 percent of the lawn not completed rather than the 90 percent already mowed.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV) says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” That sounds like four-wheel drive thanksgiving to me!
We start life spiritually blind (2 Corinthians 4:4). Our vision does not instantly become 20/20 when we decide to follow Jesus. We tend to magnify negative circumstances and feel helpless and hopeless. We focus on what we cannot do instead of what we can do through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). Our vision improves gradually as God’s word renews our minds and other believers help us understand spiritual truth. I am indebted to J.I. Packer, A.W. Tozer, C.S. Lewis, Bill Bright, Josh McDowell, Paul Little, Fred Smith and others. It takes effort to get a better grasp on spiritual truth, but as we see God’s grace at work in adversity more clearly, we become more thankful.
Four-wheel drive thanksgiving is grounded in being permanently rooted in Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:6-7) and abiding in Him (John 15:5). Rooting determines potential. A tomato seed planted in a soup can will not produce many tomatoes. A gratitude problem reflects at least a temporary disconnect from Jesus, the source of four-wheel drive thanksgiving. I want my thanksgiving to be four-wheel drive. How about you? #freechristianleadershipresources #freechristiandiscipleshipresources #freeevangelismresources #thanksgiving
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