By Ernest O'Neill

When Do We Give Thanks?

By Rev. Ernest O'Neill

Probably most of us here have some things that aren't absolutely perfect in our lives and even if today happens to be a good day, probably tomorrow we'll have something that isn't just as we would like it to be. So I'd ask you, do you give thanks whatever it's like? Or do you just give thanks when it's going well?

See, if you give thanks just when it's going well, well really what you're saying is "I don't know that you still love me and that you still are looking after things."  But when you give thanks when everything is coming apart, then you're saying to Him, "I know that you're there and I know that you still love me and I know that you're working this out for my benefit. In fact, I know that even though Joseph's brothers meant evil for him and selling him into slavery, you meant it for good. So I know that that's the same with me.  Even though my boss has just fired me or even though my friends have criticized me or even though I know other people are trying to do me harm, I know that it only appears to be their hands that are on the trigger. Actually their hands are only on the trigger that you allow them to put their hands on and in fact they can't do anything that you do not allow them to do and I know you love me. So I know that however this appears to the world and however even men and women may hope it will turn out for me, I know that you still love me and I know that you want this for me." Do you see it that way?

Because, after all, the way you deal with a common liar is, "I believe you've given me the gift when I have it in my hand, not before it's in my hand will I believe you." That's the way you deal with a common liar. But not with a God who has given you and me so many proofs of his kindness and his generosity.