Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you
in Christ Jesus”
(I Thessalonians 5:18)
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#331, 21st November 2017
Hi, Friend,
Thank you for allowing us to bring you the Word of God during this wonderful Thanksgiving week. However, it doesn't matter where in the world you live, or whether or not you celebrate America's Thanksgiving Day, because for believers it's always a thanksgiving day, hour, minute or second! Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5:18). And we know that this verse says "in all circumstances" and not "for" all circumstances. We have an abundance of blessings to be thankful for constantly, no matter what the circumstances of our life are. 

In this issue we've chosen to highlight a section of one of Peter Wade's teachings, Be A Thanksgiver, Praiser, and Rejoicer, which is available in its entirety on our website. Enjoy it during this Thanksgiving celebration. 

Be A Thanksgiver
by Peter Wade

“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thessalonians 5:18). Williams’ translation is, “Make it a habit to thank God for everything”. This is a clear command in the Word for you to be a Thanksgiver. As a Thanksgiver, you “give thanks” for benefits received. God’s will is so clearly stated here that no element of doubt can remain.      

In Ephesians 5:20 this aspect of the believer’s confession is clarified further: “Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Here we are instructed to give thanks “always”, “every day”, “to God the Father”, for He has given life to us in all its reality and abundance. 

In Colossians, the same truth is re-affirmed. “Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light” (Colossians 1:12). Phillips translates it, “… to share the lot of those who are living in
the light
”. The privilege of being a Thanksgiver is presented again in Colossians 2:7, “Rooted and [being] built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Strengthening ourselves in the faith, we have been taught, is one thing that most believers neglect, for they always want to discover some “new” truth. However, the Word says to be strengthened in that which you have already been taught and to be overflowing with thankfulness. Let’s thank God for truth; let’s thank God for teachers of truth.

Colossians 3:15 says, “… And be thankful”. Williams translates it, “And practice being thankful”. To be thankful is to be full of thanks; to be a real Thanksgiver. Work at it; put in the daily practice necessary to become a “champion” Thanksgiver. Verse 17 likewise instructs, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Mark these powerful verses in your Bible, and make a quality commitment to be a Thanksgiver!

As a Thanksgiver, you give thanks for benefits received. You give thanks because you have already received help or a gift. We were taught to do this from an early age in our social life, and we should do this from an early stage in our spiritual life. In fact, this is probably the kindergarten of Christian experience — thanking God for what He has done for us. This is a good place to start and a good practice to continue, but I believe there is a higher stage of expression that brings even greater joy to the heart of our Father, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Be a Praiser
The Word also instructs us to be a Praiser. In the giving of praise the attention is focused not so much upon the gifts received, but upon the Giver Himself. You can give praise even when you have not received a gift. How wonderful it is when someone comes up to you and say, “My, you’re a wonderful person. I wish I knew more people like you.” By their statement they have become a Praiser on a horizontal level. In the same way, how much greater is God’s joy when we thank Him for what He is, not just for what He has done! This is being a Praiser on a vertical level. 
In Psalm 145:3 we read, “Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.” God is greatly to be praised because He is great. That is, He is to be praised for what He is — a great, big, wonderful God!
Here are some more commands to be a Praiser: “Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live” (Psalm 146:1,2). “Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!” (Psalm 147:1). Read all of Psalms 148, 149 and 150.
The disciples knew what it was to be Praisers, for we read in Luke 24:52-53, following the ascension of Christ, “Then they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.” The Christians in the early church excelled in being Praisers, for Acts 2:47 tells us they were “praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people.” When the lame man was healed at the gate of the temple, “He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God… all the people saw him walking and praising God” (Acts 3:8-9).
Even when Paul and Silas were arrested and put into prison with their feet fast in the stocks, we read, “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them” (Acts 16:25). The King James Version says they “sang praises to God”. Yes, the early Christians knew the power of being a Praiser! 
As someone has said, we should be Praisers before we get into trouble, when we are in trouble, and when we get out of trouble. This, of course, simply means we should be Praisers all the time. Remember, then, that as a Thanksgiver you give thanks for benefits received, and as a Praiser you focus attention upon the Giver Himself, that is, God. “For God so loved the world, that he gave…” (John 3:16).

Be a Rejoicer
Let us take this positive expression of the renewed mind one step further. The believer has a wonderful opportunity to be a Rejoicer, as well as a Thanksgiver and a Praiser.
Paul instructs us in Philippians 3:1, “Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord!” To rejoiceJoy is to have a repeated experience of joy, to experience joy and gladness to a high degree. As you live over again in your mind some great blessing that brought tremendous joy to you originally, you can experience that joy again, and thus rejoice. In Philippians 3:3 Paul says he is a believer who does “rejoice in Christ Jesus”, rejoicing in all the accomplishments of the victorious Christ. One thing is for sure, we can always go back in our minds to the moment we became a Christian, and recapture the thrill of knowing that we are members of God’s forever family.
In Acts 5:41, the apostles had just received a beating and had been ordered not to speak in the authority of the name of Jesus. “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” Later in the Book of Acts, the Ethiopian eunuch had experienced joy as Philip taught the greatness of God’s positive Word to him, and the eunuch became a believer. Philip could not stay with him long, for God had other work for him to do. Acts 8:39 states, “… the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, and he [the eunuch] went on his way rejoicing.” He experienced repeated joy as he kept reading the Word that Philip had opened up to him. 
To remember the great experiences of joy in your life and to re-live the thrill of them, is to be a Rejoicer. 
How tremendous it would be for every believer to be a Thanksgiver, a Praiser and a Rejoicer! This positive confession of the renewed mind is one of the great keys to power in the believer’s life. Right now, take your place as a Thankful, Praising and Rejoicing child of God.

To read  Be A Thanksgiver, Praiser, and Rejoicer, go to our online teachings.
This book cover could easily represent the way we might look while resting after a great Thanksgiving Dinner!

Yet, imagine how we all should appear to others after we learn and truly believe what God has done for us in Christ and resting in the integrity of God's Word!  COMPLETELY SATISFIED IN CHRIST 72 selected short inspirational writings was purposely designed so you can open it at will and read an inspirational truth related to God’s positive Word. Or, if you desire, you can read it from the first chapter to the last. Or maybe read one chapter each day, like a daily devotion. There are some sequences of teachings that naturally follow in order, and others that are sprinkled where they fall.

Any way you choose to read it, you will be blessed and satisfied. It has been specially written and designed by Peter Wade, and is available on our website.
Praise for Divine Goodness
by E.W. Bullinger

“Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men” (Psalm 107:3).

This sacred exclamation, this devout desire is repeated four times in this Psalm. It seems as though, when God had heard the cry of His people and had delivered them, they failed to glorify Him for it. Like their forefathers they were a faithless and thankless generation. This lack of gratitude seems stamped on human nature. Hence when the Lord had healed ten lepers of their despised, loathsome and incurable disease, only one came back to give God thanks: out of the ten, only one cried out, “O that men would praise the Lord for His goodness.”
May we learn this lesson ourselves. May our hearts be roused to thankfulness, that we may be uplifted by the spirit of our text to give thanks to His name for His wonderful works to the children of men. God’s people are here regarded as crying to Him in their trouble, when in the hand of the enemy, when hungry and thirsty, when their soul fainted within them, when exceedingly depressed, when wandering in the wilderness, but when the time of deliverance came, their praise was silent. There was need for the exclamation of the text, “Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness… Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.”

Two subjects of praise
There seem to be two subjects of praise here; the goodness of God, and His wonderful works, and both these are blessed subjects of meditation, as well as of praise. We are not sufficiently accustomed to dwell on God’s attribute of goodness. Sometimes we dwell on God’s mercy, and love, and holiness, but our text invites us to contemplate this glorious declaration, His goodness. In all that He has revealed of Himself in His Word what else can we discover? Yes, even in His judgments on sinners we can see it; for if He be not able to manifest His abhorrence of sin, where is His goodness in having mercy on sinners?
He will not overlook sin, “He will by no means clear the guilty,” then how good is He in providing a surety for sinners and a saviour for the lost, and an atonement for the guilty? He will not overlook sin in His people; this Psalm is a witness of how He brought trouble on them, and chastened them sore, brought them low and afflicted them. Was this goodness? Yes, for if He had not thus visited them they would have gone on from iniquity to iniquity, and have never cried out for mercy. So would you, so would I. Oh, what goodness there is in thus bringing us back from our wanderings, our rebellion, our ingratitude and our departure from God!
Note David’s words, “Thou Lord hast made me glad through Thy work ” (Psalm 92:4). “Thy work,” not “my work.” This will indeed make us glad and ready to praise the Lord. That is why he says in the last verse of our Psalm, “Whoso is wise and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving kindness of the Lord.” See the work of God in Hannah after her prayer! She went home with her countenance no more sad, but with a blessed song in her mouth. See the work of God with Naomi, she went out contrary to faith in God. Though chastened sore she was not given over to death. God loved her the same in Moab as in Judah, and He made her glad through His work. In one Psalm David says, “I am shut up, I cannot get forth” but in another “Bring my soul out of prison.” Why? “That I may run after the vanities of the world?" No! “That I may praise Thy name.” This is the burden of this Psalm (verses 6, 13, 19, 28).

And so, whether we look at the Lord’s power, omniscience, omnipotence, immutability, compassion, or faithfulness, we find the goodness of God exhibited in all. If His mercy were exercised at the expense of His justice, His faithfulness would be violated, His truth would be broken. But God is good in all the perfection of His nature, and in all His attributes.

God’s purposes
We specially behold His goodness in His purposes. “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all Thy pleasure.” Just think for a moment of these purposes:
    (1). He purposes to have a family as His own distinct from the world, distinct from angels, and to make them partakers of the Divine life. Was there not goodness in this? The whole posterity of Adam had perished but for the goodness of this purpose.
    (2). Moreover He purposed to adopt them as sons, to give them into the hands of a Surety under solemn responsibilities. He purposed that this Surety should deliver them from the guilt of sin, from the dominion of sin, and from the power of Satan, and to be “zealous of good works.” Oh, the goodness of this wonderful purpose!

Man can speak about the goodness of God in creation, how His sun shines on the evil and the good, how His showers descend on the just and the unjust, how He giveth food to all flesh, and the fruits of the earth in due season. All has been His own doing, and it excites our wonder! Others can speak of His goodness in providence, how He has protected righteous kings, delivered them from their enemies, and caused the winds to blow and change for this purpose. But only those who know His goodness as displayed to His living Church can really enter into the words of our text and say “Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men.”
You may view it as “putting down the mighty from their seat, and exalting the humble and meek.” You may view it as overturning empires and kings; there is goodness in all this, but it pales before that which is connected with the salvation in Christ Jesus. All the purposes of redemption, satisfaction, substitution, all the purposes of operation upon sinners’ hearts in their calling, justification, sanctification, preservation and glorification, all were purposed in the goodness of God, and therefore cannot fail.

You could not talk about goodness if all these things were matters of chance and might all fail. If all were left to the caprice of man, and the decision of carnal worms of the earth. But when we see all that pertains to the salvation of a sinner as settled and secured in the eternal purpose of God, then we exclaim, “Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!

Goodness in the Saviour
Then look at it as displayed in the Saviour Himself. All is goodness here. Had all this purpose to save and pardon been left to the individual transactions of carnal men, to the efforts of mortals all must have been a failure! But when we look at this eternal purpose, anointing, ordaining, appointing, providing, giving, sending a Saviour in the person of Christ, constituting Him as the Covenant Head, making Him “head over all things to His Church,” constituting every individual believer a member of His Body, trusting them all to His care so that He should not lose one even in death, numbering them every one into His hand, then we see the goodness of God who purposed all this in Christ. Then we see the goodness of our precious, glorious Saviour in accomplishing all that he undertook. “Then said I, Lo, I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do Thy will, O my God, yea, Thy law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:7,8). Oh, what goodness! “Lo, I come” equal with the Father, sharing the eternal glory. He looked down as it were and saw the fallen, apostate race, the devil leading them captive, and He undertakes to rescue His own sheep. He saw the depravity of man’s heart, and He undertook to subdue its enmity, conquer its rebellion and fit His arrows sharp and fast in men’s consciences. Was not this goodness? Then it is not as if He left them alone! If so, they would have destroyed themselves every one.

[If you would like to read the complete version of  Praise For Divine Goodness by E.W. Bullinger, go to our website.]

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