Today my college ministry practices the discipline of public thanksgiving.
Thanks be to God! While I was still a sinner, Jesus died to pay the debt for my sins. God, the King and Creator and Sustainer of the whole universe became sin–that which He loathed–because of His great love for me, a rebel against my One True Love.
Thanks be to God! Jesus was not conquered by death; rather, He rose again to declare ultimate victory over the thing humanity has feared since the Garden-death.
Thanks be to God! He is still alive, present, and working. He never abandons me. When I sleep, when I wake, when I brush my teeth, when I go to A. Cal, when I eat, when I pray, when I dance, when I speak–He is there.
Thanks be to God! He placed me at Baylor for a reason. He has given me an incredible community of believers at my church, and a Connection Group in which we pursue Him together. He has given me amazing opportunities to learn, serve others, and grow closer to Him. He has blessed me with a relationship and friendships far beyond what I could have asked or imagined. (Who knew?)
Thanks be to God! He has made my way clear for next year. I know that where I am going is exactly where I need to be. I give the glory to God for the acceptances to each school, the funding for living on my own, and the accolades from senior year.
Thanks be to God! He has taught me so much through the past two weeks of spiritual disciplines: reading, praying, serving, memorizing, confessing, fasting, thanking, giving, and resting.
Thanks be to God! I follow the example of Betsy Ten Boom and thank Him for the lice. I thank Him for poor health, for uncertain direction, for rejections from schools, for broken relationships, for loneliness, for depression, for stress. I don’t understand why or how, but God is in control, and He works all things for His glory and our good.
“For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” – Habakkuk 1:5
David, praying to and thanking God after receiving donations to build God’s temple:
Blessed are you, O LORD, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.
But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding. O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own. – 1 Chronicles 29:10-16
Thank you, Lord.