Because mature Christians have learned that all good things in this life come from God’s generous hand, they are usually careful to give thanks to him whenever they experience them. And so we should (James 1:17; Ephesians 5:20 . But the Bible also calls us to learn to give thanks for the good things we’ve yet to receive – the ones we will experience in the next life! Colossians 1:12 says you ought to be “giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints.” The “inheritance” Paul has in mind is the unimaginable blessings and rewards that will be permanently lavished upon us when we enter into God’s presence (Ephesians 1:14; 1 Corinthians 2:9 . This practice of thanking God ahead of time for the blessings we will receive in the next life has a way of producing a current surplus of endurance, patience and joy (Colossians 1:11-12). And that’s helpful, especially when the “good things” here and now are in short supply. Peter writes to a group of suffering and persecuted Christians about their extravagant “inheritance”, which is reserved in heaven for them (1 Peter 1:4). He then speaks of the transforming power of being thankful now for those future gifts, saying, “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials” (1 Peter 1:6). So let us add to our spiritual disciplines the daily practice of expressing our thanks to God, not only for the good he supplies day by day, but also for the incomparable good he will bestow when we see him face to face.
-- Pastor Mike
It seems like the goal of people today is to figure out how to get everything they want. Unfortunately this seems to even cross over into Christian life. Some of the best selling Christian books are about this very topic. However, God is not a celestial genie in a bottle. In fact, he tells us that "he who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income" (Ecc. 5:10). The goal is to be satisfied with whatever God has provided for us. Contentment is the biblical standard Christians should strive for. With this in mind, I would like to recommend a book by William Barcley called The Secret to Contentment. Drawing from Scripture and the teachings of Puritan writers, Barcley provides wise biblical counsel on finding true satisfaction in our “never enough” age. Get your copy of The Secret of Contentment for a donation of any amount this month.
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