God Didn’t Give You All The Things You Thank Him For

A Thanksgiving repost from earlier this year:


Hebrews 11 talks about people of faith, a great cloud of witnesses showing us how faith is done. The consistency of their testimony is that they lived for another world, a better country.

Christianity has lost its voice. We do not live for a better country, instead we make ourselves at home in this one. We sell out our responsibilities and authority to the government, get wrapped up in economic debates and live as the world does.

This is all very sad. Pretty much every book of the New Testament has a warning about living in and for this world. We are warned over and over that money is the great faith killer, and yet we continue to think we are the few who can serve both God and money.

Furthermore, when we get our material blessings, we thank God for them. I have heard a number of people give thanks to God for landing the job that allows them to live a better sinful lifestyle and ruin their family.

“All good gifts come from above, brother. Praise God for my excessively wasteful house I have.” We are under the impression that faith equals prosperity, oh sure, not crazily like them whack-job Pentecostals, but evangelical Christianity believes God blesses spiritual faithfulness with physical abundance.

It’s why we thank Him for our comforts, don’t ya know.

“Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and  the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.”

We know these verses, but do we really understand what it’s saying? Allow the ever so correct ESV to put it nicely for you. Notice the “–” in there and the phrase it sets apart, a kind of parenthesis. Read the verse without that phrase once.

“For all that is in the world is not from the Father but is from the world.” Now, specifically He is talking about our lust and pride after the worlds things, the things of the world we are not to love–lust after.

But the things in the world that you lust after for your own pride, when you get those, don’t thank God for them, He didn’t give them to you. You heaped them to yourself after your own lust.

2 thoughts on “God Didn’t Give You All The Things You Thank Him For”

  1. I remember this post from before. It was good to read it again. I like the clear line you are drawing here. I think also the point is that God has so much better joys for us, and we keep getting snared by the world, thinking that God is going to deprive us and make us like hermits. Oh the shadows that sin has cast over our loving Father!

    I’m also thinking of the origin of Thanksgiving.

    When the Pilgrims first settled in America, many of them died in the first winter. I wonder what we would have thought of the providence and protection of God, when half of us die off a year after we settle in the new land that God led us to? But I think there must have been a mistake on their part, in not properly preparing for the hardships of the new world. Certainly God doesn’t lead us out just to “kill us in the wilderness.”

    Anyway, they learned, and eventually got established. That’s when the first thanksgiving was held: when they looked at the fruits of bounty that God had given them. Mind you, it didn’t rain turkeys and pumpkins from heaven…they had to work for them, and work hard! But they must have had quite a faith to thank God for this. They could have credited it all to their works, but instead they knew that God cooperated with their efforts. After all, what would be their effort if the seed didn’t sprout, or the rain didn’t come? And they had a good spirit to thank God for the blessings of the harvest as well as the hardship that made the harvest so sweet.

    I think you are right. The change in circumstances now has made our thanksgiving quite a bit different. It’s a bit like the ceremony of circumcision. It was once a symbol of righteousness by faith, but became a symbol of righteousness by works.

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