Thankful for Someone to Thank

Last night my brother asked this question on Facebook:
Who do people thank who don't have a saving faith in Christ?

His question brought to mind an ODB (Our Daily Bread) that I wrote back in 2005, but which (to my knowledge) was never published. That year I was just finishing chemotherapy and was about to begin radiation. I was extremely thankful to all the friends, family, and physicians who had given me so much attention. But at the top of the list was God, who had equipped all of those people with gifts of compassion and the knowledge to treat deadly diseases.

My devotional doesn't answer Jim's question, but it does address the same subject . . .

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above. —James 1:17

Read: James 1

Magician Penn Jillette believes there is no god and claims that his life is better for it. Not believing in God is good, he says, because he has to “treat people right the first time around” since he can’t be forgiven.

Of course it’s good to treat people right, but his conclusion doesn’t address inevitable failures. What do we do with our guilt? Jillette doesn’t offer an answer. Instead he implies that believers are beggars.

“I'm not greedy,” says Gillette. “I have love, blue skies, rainbows and Hallmark cards, and that has to be enough. . . . It seems just rude to beg the invisible for more.”

When I heard Gillette’s essay just before Thanksgiving in 2005, I thought, yes, he has all these things, but one thing is still missing: He has no one to thank for all this goodness. He doesn’t even have an explanation for goodness. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17).

I feel sorry for people who think that the only reason for believing in God is so we can beg Him for more. Believers aren’t beggars; we’re worshipers. We believe in God not because we want more, but because we’re grateful for everything He has provided—especially forgiveness. —Julie Ackerman Link

1 comment:

tim said...

In October of 2008 I had five transient ischemic attacks (mini strokes). Scripture has given me a firm foundation of hope and assurance that God was by my side, and that I could cast my cares on Him and be anxious for nothing.

Last Thanksgiving I could barely eat, due to feelings of dizziness. This Thanksgiving I am more thankful for life and unpromised breath than you could imagine—well.. maybe not you, as it seems God has also brought you through a tremendous ordeal.

We truly are blessed and worship an amazing God who provides graciously for us all.. through the good and bad.