Dr. James C. Denison
President, Center for Informed Faith, Dallas, TX
November 24, 2010
The Korean conflict and Thanksgiving
The hostilities between North and South Korea are being called the most serious since the Korean War was halted in 1953. Today’s New York Times reports that the U.S. will respond to North Korea’s shelling of a South Korean island by staging joint military exercises with our ally. The aircraft carrier George Washington and other ships are headed for the region as we seek to prevent this conflict from escalating into war.
I’m glad the Bible teaches us to give thanks “in” all circumstances, not “for” them. This Thanksgiving week we have considered four imperatives: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit’s fire” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-19). We have learned that when we submit to the Spirit, pray continually, and find ways to give thanks to God in every circumstance, we fan the flame of the Spirit in our lives. Then he makes us more joyful so we can be more prayerful and more thankful and more empowered.
Do these principles apply to you? Do you have reason for thanksgiving tomorrow? Consider what God has done for you.
You are the greatest miracle you know. Your body consists of 206 bones, wrapped with 650 muscles and seven miles of nerve fibers. Your eyes possess 100 million receptors, and your ears 24,000 fibers. Your heart beats 36,000,000 times every year and sends blood pumping through more than 60,000 miles of veins, arteries, and tubing.
Your brain contains 13,000,000,000 nerve cells. Picture the possible number of interconnections in your brain this way: the number of atoms in the universe is one followed by 100 zeroes. The number of different patterns possible in your brain is one followed by over 800 zeros.
Did you deserve to have physical abilities and not challenges? To be born in America and not North Korea? To have parents who would love you and not abuse you? To have the privileges and opportunities you enjoy today?
We’ve considered what God has done for us. Now consider what he is doing for you. He has given you eternal life in his Son. You are eternal. You will never die. Jesus told Martha, “He who lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:26).
And consider what he will do for you. Paul testified: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). He assured us: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Have you submitted your life to God as your King today, asking for the joy his Spirit alone can give? Have you decided to walk through this day in prayer, seeking the peace of your Lord? Have you given thanks for all he has done, is doing, and will do, positioning yourself to experience his power? Will you tomorrow?
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