Friday, October 05, 2007

Thanksgiving Sermon

This Thanksgiving comes off one of the toughest couple of weeks for me and my family. Our baby girl spent some time in Alberta Children's Hospital, and although recovering well now, added a lot of stress to our last few weeks.

That wonderful facility is beautiful and the staff were gracious, caring and professional. No one wants to be in a Hospital, but if you are going to have a sick child ACH is the place to be!

While I am very thankful for ACH and the staff, I am far more grateful to God, in whose care we have been able to trust. The Bible promises that "All things work together for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purpose" (Rom. 8:28).

The great issue is an the question, what is our good? For those without Christ, it is a relatively smooth life, a short term love, a temporary good time, or in the best 'a life well lived'. But is that enough? Our hospital time though ending in recovery, was neither smooth, nor enjoyable in itself.

The Bible tells us that the "good" God has in mind is that, "we be conformed to the image of His Son" (Rom 8:29). This is good because all sickness, suffering, conflict, and tribulation, war and famine, is the result of one root cause. And that root cause is sin.

God's promise of good is that all of these things are training to help us escape finally and completely all the sufferings of life, so that with Jesus as our example, "for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame" we can have great hope even in the worst suffering, and great joy because we know that God is in control.

This experience of God's truth has helped me immeasurably to prepare for my sermon this Sunday at the Okotoks Evangelical Free Church, on "God's Will for Your Thanksgiving".

What an awesome promise that Christ came to set us free from sin and death and to give us "life more abundantly"! We, like children have often to learn, that our Heavenly father knows what is best for our life, especially in the times when we are struggling and we can trust in Him completely.

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