A knowledge of the Bible is essential to a rich and meaningful life. For the words of this Book have a way of filling in the missing pieces, of bridging the gaps, of turning the tarnished colors of our life to jewel-like brilliance. Learn to take your every problem to the Bible. Within its pages you will find the correct answer. But most of all, the Bible is a revelation of the nature of God. The philosophers of the centuries have struggled with the problem of a Supreme Being. Who is He? What is He? Where is He? If there is such a Person, is He interested in me? If so, how can I know Him? These and a thousand other questions about God are answered in this Holy Book, we call the Bible.
Some people like to work out, citing the endorphins that are released. But I dread working out. And I complain while I’m working out. But after I’m done, I’m glad that I did it.
That’s sometimes what it’s like to study the Bible. There are times we really want to read it and look forward to it. Then there are times when we get up in the morning and think, “I’ll just skip it today.” But then we do it anyway. That isn’t legalism; that’s discipline. And there’s a difference.
Discipline says, “I’m going to read the Bible because I need to do it. I know God wants me to do it. And when I’m done, I’ll be glad I did it.”
It’s an absolute that we determine to do before anything else, even if it means that we don’t have time to check our social media or e-mails or texts. It’s something we must discipline ourselves to do.
The Center for Bible Engagement recently did a study and came up with something I find very interesting: “The ‘power of 4’ is evident when we consider that for some of these behaviors (getting drunk and sex outside marriage) examined there is no statistical difference between Christians who read or listen to the Bible two to three days a week and those who do not engage scripture at all or only once a week.”
In other words, if you’re not reading your Bible four or more times a week, then you won’t make significant choices or changes any differently than someone who doesn’t read the Bible.
Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed” (John 8:31 NKJV). We need to see the value of God’s Word. We need to long for God’s Word.
In a relatively short period of time, poor Job lost everything that was precious to him. He lost his family, his health, and his possessions. And to make matters worse, his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9 NKJV).
Job lost it all, yet he gave thanks to God. He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21 NKJV).
When something good happens in our lives, we give God the glory. But what about when things are not going well? We still need to say, “Thank you, Jesus.”
Sometimes praising the Lord is a sacrifice, but we should always do it. As the apostle Paul wrote, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV).
Notice that Paul tells us to give thanks “in everything.” In Greek, this phrase means “in connection with everything that occurs.” Of course, this would not include personal sin. We wouldn’t give thanks for a sin we committed or the repercussions we face as a result. But we should be thankful for the other things.
There are no exceptions, no excuses. Nothing is outside these parameters.
You might say, “My heart is not in it.”
It doesn't matter whether your heart is in it. This is about giving thanks because God is good. It’s about giving thanks because God is in control of your life. Give thanks because He’s in control of all circumstances surrounding your life.
The fact of the matter is that for the Christian, every day should be Thanksgiving, minus the turkey dinner, of course. Like Job, we can give thanks, even when times are hard.