Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, / It is well, it is well with my soul.
—Horatio Spafford, “It Is Well With My Soul” (1873)
This is God’s universal purpose for all Christian suffering: more contentment in God and less satisfaction in self and the world.
—John Piper, Desiring God (1996)
So Much Stuff
A family of four looks at a messy and cluttered room and they say together out loud, “What are we going to do with all this stuff?” So, they head off to the big box store and buy all sorts of plastic tubs, dividers, and organizers. Once they’ve packed everything neatly away and out of sight, they look at the now empty room and say, “Hey, this room sure seems empty!” And off they go to the store again to get more stuff.
This was the gist of an old (1991) Rubbermaid commercial. That Rubbermaid ran an ad with a theme like this is interesting. The fact that it was successful suggests we don’t know when to stop accumulating “stuff”. The commercial, I suppose, tells the story of American consumerism quite nicely.
But here’s another thought: Let’s remember that our culture ultimately ends up reflecting what we collectively hold highest and “worship most”. This, for good or bad, leads us back to the Church. And since most readers are in America, let’s talk about the American church as a whole. My premise… the Church and its liturgy… in a very real sense… has historically set the tone for the rest of culture.
I’m reflecting Henry Van Til’s concept that culture is simply religion externalized.
Further, our prayers even reflect the same kind of consumerism that prevails in the broader culture. We come to God in prayer. Then, we ask. After this, we hope to receive. Sometimes we say thank you. Yet, sometimes we don’t. We then hurry to fill our “Rubbermaid tubs” and then we ask again for more stuff. And in many cases, God continues to give.
We then say that He’s good for this. He’s in-exhaustively good it seems at times. But the same goodness also moves God to teach us… sometimes gently, sometimes harshly… important things about asking and receiving. He also teaches us important things about the process of actually giving thanks.
Ask And You Shall Receive
God has commanded us to pray for all things necessary for body and soul (Matt. 6:8-13). For the most part too, He doesn’t reprimand us when we ask for things that are a little less than necessary. But sternly He does warn us to seek His kingdom first and His will rather than our own lusts and desires (1 John 5:4 and James 4:3 both speak to this).
So, even though our Lord says, “Ask and you shall receive” (Matt. 7:7) we need to understand the broader theological context of those words. We need to understand that God isn’t a cosmic vending machine who dispenses good things every time we insert a prayer and pull a lever. God has higher goals than our immediate comfort or happiness.
God’s highest good is His own glory. He rejoices in this as it represents His ultimate perfection. My guess is, He can’t do otherwise. That’s because He is the source and ground of all truth, beauty, and glory. God is Truth. He is also Love and Glory and Joy. God is this in Himself and He is this for us. I hope that makes sense. He is reality’s highest good.
In calling us to trust Him, love Him and find our sufficiency in Him, God is also inviting us to share in His own highest end. He is calling us to embrace His reality and then to find it sweetly, gloriously and wonderfully good. This is the overflowing goodness and joy of the Triune God. Nevertheless, there’s a problem…
We can’t take His goodness and turn it on its head. When God tells us to pray that His name be hallowed and that His kingdom come and will be done… He is, again, inviting us to share in His eternal joy. But this doesn’t at all mean that God promises to give us everything we think we need in our own private and existential moment. And it certainly doesn’t mean that we need everything we think we need or say we want at any given time. Again, God is after bigger things than our immediate gratification. That’s pretty important I think. It’s something I miss a lot but am trying to learn.
So, here’s the thing: The fact that God shares His eternal glory with us is a remarkable fact and blessing. But often there’s some darkness that goes along with it. Sometimes what we need isn’t a full stomach, a reduction in pain or even a full nights sleep. Sometimes we need to be hungry, in some pain or troubled by a lack of sleep. And yes, sometimes we need trials and persecutions (James 1:2ff). At times we need to be broken and bruised and crushed. (That’s even hard to write, let alone live and embrace.)
Sometimes we need to pass through the fires or come close to drowning in some deep waters (Isa. 43:2). When we pray “Thy kingdom come” or “Thy will be done” we should understand that God may answer our requests in very hard and painful ways. This is not because He is cruel, but because that’s what our real good and the good of all His saints actually requires. We see through a glass darkly and often can’t see what He’s doing.
Give Thanks Unto The Lord
As we look at Scripture then, we find that God’s command to “be thankful” involves enduring some hard and very hurtful things. (My friends David, Bob, and Perry have helped me focus my thoughts on this rather intensely) Let’s look at God’s Word for more answers…
First, God does command us to be thankful. He does so many times. For example, Paul tells us that we ought to give “thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:20). The Psalms are also full of commands to be thankful. Here are just a few:
- “. . . give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness” (30:4; 97:12).
- “O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people” (105:1).
- “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever” (106:1; 107:1; 118:1; 118:29; 136:1).
Clearly, God doesn’t leave thankfulness to us as a matter of own subjective desires, impulses or private initiatives. He never says, “Hey, don’t mention it, Bill. No thanks, necessary buddy.” Obviously, it is right that we thank God. All things come from Him. He gives to all “life, and breath, and all things” (Acts 17:25). We deserve nothing from Him, we can add nothing to Him and yet He delights to give good gifts… both to His children and even to His enemies (Ps. 50:12; Matt. 5:45; James. 1:17).
Second, God commands us to be thankful for who He is, not just for what He can do for us. As we’ve seen above, He commands all of us to rejoice in His holiness, goodness, and mercy. He commands us to thank and praise Him for His great works in creation and redemption. This means we are to be thankful for His infinite wisdom and sovereign power. Yep, we are to be thankful that God is God, and that He is who He says He is.
As Paul describes mankind’s decline into moral and cultural depravity, this is what he says about apostate humanity:
. . .when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things (Rom. 1:21-23).
Historically, there were a couple times when humans knew God in a telling and interesting way. Once when Adam and Eve were expelled from Paradise, and another when Noah and his family disembarked from the Ark. In each case, it took only a few generations for humanity to turn aside after idols. The reason, Paul says, is that the apostates he mentions were not thankful. They weren’t thankful for God’s great works and they weren’t thankful for His Word. Ultimately, they weren’t thankful for who He was. For this reason, they reinvented Him after their own imaginations. They made their own gods that seemed more realistic and, I guess, more comfortable for them.
The great irony here lies in the weakness and absurdity of all pagan gods. To read the Iliad or the Aeneid, for instance, is to discover a gaggle of “little godlings” who are no better than petty tyrants, gang bosses or playground bullies. A pagan might thank a particular god for this or that gift, but no one in the ancient world could seriously be thankful to the gods for who and what they were.
Third, God commands us not only to be thankful in all things but for all things (1 Thes. 5:18; Eph. 5:20). Because God causes all things to work together for His glory and our good (Rom. 8:28), everything He brings to us is chock-full of blessing. Every tear, every pain, every cross is a stepping stone upwards to glory. Tribulations try and perfect our faith (James 1:3). They move us closer to God. They teach us to reorient our values, to pursue holiness over pleasure and to delight in God more than in pleasant circumstances. In the process, we find deeper and surer joy.
This kind of thanksgiving seems to defy all human logic. It runs contrary to the world. It may even sound masochistic to some. The fact is, true thanksgiving doesn’t glory in tribulations in and of themselves. Biblical thanksgiving glories only in God’s purposes and only through them, knowing that tribulation is part of a bigger package.
Such thanksgiving springs only from true faith, a faith rooted in God’s promises. Only as we set our hearts on who God really is, on His great goodness to us in the past, and on His remarkably glorious intentions for us can we learn to say thank you for the hard and dark things we experience in the shadow of His providence. Only then can we count the hard things of life as “light afflictions” which work for us “a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:17).
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NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls
New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.
The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.
The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.
“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”
The Ultimate Energizer Review – Does It Really Work?
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This brings us to the review of the ultimate energizer guide. This is a program that provides users with classified information on how to build a free energy generator. But can the program really make you achieve this?
does it work? will it be worth your investment, time and energy? all these questions and more are what this review on the ultimate energizer program seeks to help you find answers to.
The ultimate energizer review – is it worth it?
About The Ultimate Energizer guide
The ultimate energizer is your ultimate guide to building your own alternative and portable energy source to power up any of your household appliances including refrigerators and aircon units. It is a very affordable way to having an emergency generator that can help you save more than 50% from your electricity bills without spending too much on other alternative energy source like solar panels or wind turbines which is costly and will also need a lot of space.
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It is lost to the earth which means we need to really take care of it in order to reduce the cost of energy bills which introduces the ultimate energizer guide.
About The Ultimate Energizer Creator
The creator of the complete the ultimate energizer guide is steven perkins. He found the journal of the founder of this technology in his home when his father shifted near quebec city in canada.
In this post, we will review the ultimate energizer whose creator claimed to offer a way through which you can generate non-stop current. According to the author, you can drop down your electricity bills by 80%.
Of course the ultimate energizer owners provide resources. But the truth is that you are a master creator. All of them have that talent in us. The only difference is the extent to which it is hidden in each of us.
Features of The Ultimate Energizer
The features of the ultimate energizer guide are as follows:-. This program guide will help you to design a the ultimate energizer generator which will follow the rules of linear induction motor which is built around a track that is orbicular to maintain the smooth motion of rotors that are transportable.
You can find here, a extensive review which highlights all the important features and performance criteria of the ultimate energizer. Use of the the ultimate energizer is very easy since all of the functions can be accessed in a short time; you have complete control over it. 100% money back guarantee shows that the ultimate energizer really works. The ultimate energizer gives full customer support for 7/24/365, also, features, credibility and the ultimate energizer’s ease of use are favorably satisfied by the buyers.
Use it on any electrical appliances from small clocks to big plasma tv screens, refrigerators, and air conditioners. Power the cabins while hiking to the mountains or camping. Other essential features of this complete the ultimate energizer are that it is easy to assemble and does not require a technical background to master engineering.
Pros and Cons of The Ultimate Energizer
I’ve created this honest ultimate energizer review to help you make a well-informed decision. I’ve tested it myself and now i’m going to share with you all the key aspects you may be interested in: how does it work? is it really so powerful and effective? what are its pros and cons?.
It is non-polluting. It remains popular the ultimate energizer guide pros & cons because it is both a renewable and clean source of energy. Harnessing solar energy is more than a fine idea it’s currently a reality in thousands of homes in a lot of nations around the world.
On the review of the ultimate energizer guide, we will be looking into what exactly the program is all about, the details of the energy generator program, the benefits, pros & cons and our conclusion on the program.
Does The Ultimate Energizer really work?
The device is usable during emergencies. It works without fuels and therefore there are no expected fumes. It is weather proof. Cons of the ultimate energizer. You can only download the program from the official website.
But the ultimate energizer reviews that are available from real users online on platforms like google and youtube seem to confirm that the device does indeed work. So, as per my ultimate energizer review answer to the question is the ultimate energizer legit? is definitely yes.
The ultimate energizer guide. The ultimate energizer is said to work for your home and cut electricity by 82%, guaranteed by tomorrow. The ultimate energizer reviews. It can boost any type of electricity by as much as 5 times.
Advantages of The Ultimate Energizer Program
The program can benefit you in many ways. Below we are listing the advantages of using the ultimate energizer program for generating electricity:. This device will help you save up to 60%-70%, without investing money in solar panels which can cost you a lot of money.
There are additional the ultimate energizer guide program advantages too, including advantages at tax time, so do your homework on what you might have for being a solar power pioneer contributed back.
Why The Ultimate Energizer is Useful?
The ultimate energizer is a complete guide and blueprint. With it, you get everything you need to know to build your own free energy generator. This generator can be completed for less than $50 if you have some tools already. But i remember reading another review of the ultimate energizer, and the guy said he took days. Maybe he was crafty. Then, you assemble it and get it to work.
You will be guided step by step, that anybody who can read can build it. You do not need prior building experience or massive strength; it is that easy. Building the ultimate energizer takes under 4 hours if you are slow and definitely a lot less when you have help.
The ultimate energizer has already changed the lives of over 30,000 families who chose to power their homes using this eco-friendly device. This is definitely a good investment that is worth your time and money and if you think it isn’t after trying it out, you can request for a refund.
Is The Ultimate Energizer a Scam?
The ultimate energizer guide really show you how to power your house and save tremendously, or is this just another overhyped scam? this system was created after its owner decided he wanted to have a home power generating system in case of any crises or disasters.
The ultimate energizer pdf. It does not need any conventional electric power. The ultimate energizer scam. In this program, you can also build more generator and sell for profit. This product can also be incorporated into the automobile to power an electric motor.
All you need is an open mind and a desire to try new things to get a life in the field of freedom of energy. So, what are you waiting for? it’s time to say goodbye to major energy companies and start using the ultimate energizer guide today.
Watch this video demonstration of the ultimate energizer guide put into action
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