Being Thankful: A Safeguard

A Massachusetts doctor and Harvard graduate has been suspended for leaving a patient on the operating table midway through spinal surgery so he could deposit a check at his local bank. The state board of medicine said David Arndt, an orthopedic surgeon, posed "an immediate threat to the public health, safety and welfare" after he left the patient with an open incision in his back. According to Reuters, Arndt left behind a surgeon who was not qualified to complete the surgery. After his 35-minute trip to the bank, Arndt returned to the operating room and finished the surgery within a few hours. The doctor’s license to practice medicine in Massachusetts has been suspended, but he had a chance to appeal the decision. (themedicalbag.com)

You mean even being in a doctors care can be unsafe? Can a safe haven be found ANYWHERE? Yes.

Philippians 3:1  Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you.

The apostle Paul wrote these words while imprisoned in Rome, stripped of everything and changed to a wall. When a man losses everything he has, things take on a whole new meaning. While in this prison (where he believes he may die very soon) he writes a letter of thanksgiving and joy.  He begins to thank God for people he loved and those who loved him. 

Paul knows he is in a spiritual battle, and he pulls out one of the greatest weapons he had – Thanksgiving. He began to give thanks for the Christ that loved him, for the people he loved, those who loved him, and the work of the Lord. He wrote an entire chapter in the book of Romans  just to thank people by name. 

He said being thankful was a “safeguard”, like being in a fortified bunker during a bombing raid, like wearing a  when surrounded by toxic chemicals. He knew that not to be thankful was spiritually dangerous. He was thankful that God was not finished with him or his Christian friends yet.

Philippians 1:6  For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.People can be frustrating....Have faith for them.

He was thankful that his life counted for something because he was serving God and His people. ch 2:17  But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all.  He did not gripe about having to serve, even though he knew people can be ungrateful and demanding.  

He was thankful that His faith rested on faith in Chirst and not his own righteousness. ch3:9  and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,

He was thankful he could pray instead of worry. ch4:6  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.7  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

He was thankful that his strength came from God. ch4:13  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

He was thankful that God was his source, and would supply all he needed ch 4:19  And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Thanks giving is an incredible weapon. The enemy of our soul gets confused when we are grateful in the midst of trouble. 2000 years later Paul is remembered because he won a great battle by giving thanks.  A conqueror not a whinner.

Do you want to win the spirtual war that comes with trouble.  Put on thanksgiving.  Great men and women have done so for centuries. Thanksgiving is powerful. It works.