Irvin Wasswa- Tylertown Campus Pastor LHBC

1 Timothy 1:12-17
12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever.Amen.

It is difficult to possess a constant heart of thanksgiving isn’t it? I know during dark seasons of life I can easily find myself choosing to sulk instead of serving out of gratitude, or choose to gripe instead of giving thanks. I remember my first semester at seminary in New Orleans, LA. I found myself in a season where I struggled with being thankful. I was living in a brand new city making less money per hour as a 22 year old with a college degree  than I did as an 18 year old college freshman. I was living in an old dorm room after living in a house just the year before, and I had to take classes like Greek where literally it was all Greek to me! I was struggling. However it was in that moment where the Lord came through and reminded me that I indeed had so much to be thankful for. I had the opportunity to study at one of the best seminaries in the world on a scholarship, I had a job to pay the bills, I was able to serve in the Lord’s church, AND above all else I had been washed by the blood of the Lamb and have a vibrant relationship with the King of the Universe. The Lord bringing those things back to my mind helped me recenter my focus and helped me to choose to walk in a spirit of thankfulness.

Paul here in the first part of his letter to his protege Timothy reminds him of why he is so thankful. Paul reflects back on his testimony from death to life, his call to ministry, and ultimately the mercy he had been shown through the finished work of Jesus! I believe that Paul shares this with Timothy to help encourage him when ministry got tough for him to remember all the good the Lord has done for him. In the same way friends, if we know Jesus we have so much to be thankful for! He has saved us! He has called us to be a part of His kingdom work! He has ministered to us in difficult seasons. He has been so good! So we have a reason to be thankful.

So in light of His goodness, In times when you feel like pouting, choose to praise by choosing to be thankful for all the Lord has done in your life. In the times when you want to throw a fit, choose to have faith by remembering what all the Lord has done in your life. I believe Paul during the seasons of struggle in his life had reflected back on his testimony of all that the Lord had in his life up to that point, to allow for him to choose thankfulness even when he didn’t feel like it. Today, choose thankfulness by remembering all that the Lord has done for you. 

Dear Heavenly Father, I love you! Help me to choose to have a heart of thanksgiving today by reflecting on all the wonderful things you have done in my life! Thank you for saving me, calling me, and using me for your kingdom service. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Psalm 136:23
It is he who remembered us in our low estate,  for his steadfast love endures forever;