Thankfulness :: by Edward Dedloff

Someone I know close to me who doesn’t know the Lord once asked me: “If Christians are saved and surely going to heaven and they know it, then why do many still act down and even depressed? Shouldn’t they walk around feeling like they are on cloud nine all the time?”

My answer was to the point: “We still live on the same earth as everyone else does with all its trials and tribulations. It doesn’t make you feel great about those close to you and those whom you love knowing they willfully choose to perish without the presence of the Lord in their lives.”

Even though as Christians we have taken the vital step forward to put Christ in control of our lives and secure our eternal future, it’s tough to watch those who willfully reject God’s promise of salvation through the death of His Son Jesus. As I sit and ponder about the things going on in this world today, I often think about how I would view it if I had never started that walk with the Lord, which I embarked upon 6 years and 2 months ago.

I am thankful for the fact that I have chosen Christ instead of staying with the legions of the lost. The power of the Holy Spirit is a fascinating thing that is hard to describe. (The discernment of how you view the way the world is versus how God sees it.) It allows you to see the purpose of why God created this world the way He did and how things work together for the good just a bit more.

It allows you to see and witness the very same things before your eyes as the world does but it comes through Bible prophecies that continue to transpire and actually happen. The warning signs I see now, I would not have seen or cared to think about prior to walking with the Lord. The end of times are evident as the world draws closer and closer to Christ’s return. For that, I am thankful.

Keeping that in mind, we can still go through emotional times as we see the “birth pangs” of some events taking place. We see the hardening of hearts of those who seems to grow against the things of God.

I see the taunting as people begin to mock God calling him that “Fake guy in the sky” or the spelling of the Bible as “Buy-Bull” in many online posts. I see the taunting as people who don’t even believe in God start quoting Scripture from the Bible as a tool to try to put conviction onto Christians like some kind of lesson but you see them smartly declaring, “ It doesn’t apply to me.” (But you, as a Christian should practice what you preach!) I’m not saying that all Christians practice what they preach but that is another story for another day.

It’s really interesting that there are so many similarities today to the attitudes and hardness of hearts as in the days that Christ was here living in the flesh. I guess mankind overall has not changed a lot. The persecutions were relentless then and they are today as well. It’s hard to digest the idea that 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians have just lost their lives for their faith. As the rise of Islamic extremism increases so does the daily persecution of Christians all over the world. Even as Jesus was being put on the cross He knew their hearts.

Luke 23:34…[Jesus said,] ”Father forgive them for they know not what they do” and they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

When I think of a president who has become the most polarizing figure in the United States today, it never dawned on me that in my lifetime so seemingly short for 53 years, that there would be a time when a leader of this nation would be willfully at odds with Israel, our greatest and tightest ally.

It is hard to imagine the world leaders who would demonstrate this as the Bible calls it out; but we are blessed with the truth to know that through these pretty scary times that we can rest in the promise of God’s faithfulness. For that I’m thankful.

When I am able to go to my home church, I enjoy my time serving in the praise and worship ministry, being able to have fellowship with other believers, greeting new people as they come through the door, attend and volunteer with community activities put on by the church, and call it my house of worship.

I am blessed with the opportunity to help spread the Good News of the Word of Christ’s offer for salvation. Who knows, this may not always be possible as the world turns further and further away from the things of God.

Our nation is shutting the door on God at every turn and replacing the things of God with ungodly things. Things that used to be considered wrong but are now considered right. As political correctness and resentment toward Christians builds in momentum and continues to choke the very life out of this country and the things that made it traditionally great, I can rest knowing that ultimately God is in control. And even though it appears hard to believe at times, He always has our backs. For that I’m thankful.

If you’re reading this today and you don’t know Jesus Christ and don’t have a relationship with Him, you can have one. Ask Him to come into your life, change you and mold you to His will and purpose. To know that you will spend eternity in heaven by putting your trust in Him is something that we should all be thankful for.

Glory to Christ Jesus.