But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57
Part of my devotional reading was Paul’s conversion today, which I meditated on for the remainder of my prayer time, because once again, I was struck with the power of his story. Paul did not have an easy life once he started following Christ. In fact, Jesus pretty much promised that he wouldn’t as told to Ananias:
But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” Acts 9:15,16
And yet, with all that he indeed did suffer for the sake of the Gospel, the thing that stands out to me about the character of Paul is his overwhelming thankfulness. More verses are attributed to him regarding thankfulness and giving thanks than any other person in the Bible. Anyway, that’s how it seemed to me when I started counting them. Here are just a few:
But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 2 Corinthians 2:14
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 2 Colossians 2:6,7
…….always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20
…….and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified youto share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, Colossians 1:12,13
When I think about the life of Paul, I am overwhelmed at his capacity to abound in thanksgiving knowing all he had to go through. He never forgot what Jesus had saved him from. He had personally experienced God’s great mercy in sparing him. He never lost that. I hope I never do.
Lord, in the midst of all that I have, I am thankful first and foremost for the cross.
Without it, I would have nothing. Without what Jesus did none of this would mean anything.
You have given me a future and a hope. Help me to be a light to others.
Remove the scales from my heart and eyes so that I can love the way you love.