Thanksgiving and Comforting Life Verses

For me, “life verses” are those that I hold onto, read often, think about, and apply towards the circumstances that I find myself in; especially when I’m grieving or find myself in a dilemma that requires God moving in my life and/or in the lives of loved ones.

Reading the truth in God’s Word always comforts me and lessens the grief that I may be feeling because of any unforeseen event.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day.  It is a time to celebrate and give thanks to God for all of our blessings.  When certain loved ones are not there, it is normal to feel the loss of their presence; whether they have died, live too far away, or are, unfortunately, estranged from their families.

1Th 5:14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle [fn] encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.

ESV Footnotes
disorderly, or undisciplined

It is interesting to note that the admonishment is not only for the “idle,” but also for the “disorderly, or undisciplined.”  That covers a LOT of people these days!

1Th 5:15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.

It can be very difficult to “seek to do good to” someone (or, people) who intentionally hurt you through their evil acts against you.  But, what’s the point of being a saved Christian if our intention is to “repay evil for evil?”  We can admonish those who do evil against us, but avoid repaying with evil.  Maybe that’s where the idea to “kill them with kindness” came from?

1Th 5:16 Rejoice always
1Th 5:17 pray without ceasing,
1Th 5:18  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

I like to take these three verses and apply them together.  How can we “rejoice always” when horrible and terrible things happen within families, in our nation, and across the world?

Praying without ceasing means to keep up whatever you are focused on praying for.  I recall praying for the salvation of my own dad since I was a 7-year old little girl.  Decades later, after more than 10 years of studying the Bible, God used me to witness to my dad just 5 months before he passed away from lung cancer.

Notice that 1 Thessalonians 5:18 doesn’t say,  ‘give thanks for all circumstances;’ it says to “give thanks in all circumstances.”  This is a reminder that even if we don’t see the outcome of any circumstance (whether it be positive or negative), God has it in His hands and His Will be done!  “For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

I can’t even explain, right now, how comforting these verses are for me.  One day, I will share a recent experience which was devastating for me and our family.  In the meantime, I can hold onto another one of my favorite chapters (Romans 8) and the particular life verses shared below from that chapter.

 Rom 8:34
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.[fn]

Rom 8:35
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?

Rom 8:36
As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

Rom 8:37
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Rom 8:38
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,

Rom 8:39
nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In addition, the following portion of commentary from David Brown at the Blue Letter Bible site are comforting:

(10) “The whole universe, with all that it contains, so far as it is good, is the friend and ally of the Christian; and, so far as it is evil, is more than a conquered foe” ( Rom 8:35-39 ) [HODGE]. (11) Are we who “have tasted that the Lord is gracious,” both “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation” ( 1Pe 1:5 ), and embraced in the arms of Invincible Love? Then surely, while “building ourselves up on our most holy faith,” and “praying in the Holy Ghost,” only the more should we feel constrained to “keep ourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” ( Jud 1:20, 21 ).

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