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Monthly Archives: January 2014

It seems the common way people deal with unavoidable suffering is to “count their blessings.” This seems to fit with the scripture saying that if there is anything good or of pure report, to think on such things. (Philippians 4:8)

Yet, if we encourage ourselves by comparing our good fortune to another’s misfortune, have we really taken hold of the foundation upon which thanksgiving truly rests?

We have life because someone other than ourselves determined that we would be born. During our lives here, Jesus taught that we “Will have tribulation.” (John 16:33)

In scripture we also read that we comfort others with the same comfort by which we have been comforted. Is it not better to find thankfulness on an equal base with all people?

Genetic propensity has it that my heart is healthier than a friend of mine. Again, I had nothing to do with this. If I base my thankfulness on that fact that I have a healthier heart am I not actually indifferent to him? Isn’t it like saying, “I am grateful that I am not as you?”

The truth is, we all will suffer tribulation and our reason for hope is that Jesus Christ overcame the world. Seeing another suffer should not be the base for healthy positive thinking, it should be an eye-opener and should cause compassion to rise up in me.

The things that are pure and of good report are those thoughts, every one of them, founded in the Gospel––the amazing good news.

True thankfulness is never boastful or in comparing, but is always founded on God’s graciousness to us. As Christians, we don’t ‘knock on Wood,’ or ‘thank our lucky stars.’ Those are just sayings.

Jesus reminded us not to “rejoice ever that spirits submit to us, but to rejoice that our names are written down in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)

I cannot be made happy by comparing my friend’s unhealthy heart to my healthy heart. I am thankful with an ache in my heart wanting those, who like me will suffer tribulation, to know the reason we can ALL be of good cheer.