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"Thankfulness in the New Year" (posted January 3, 2014)
- Colossians 3:15
When it comes to being thankful, Paul's letter to the Colossians has some helpful reminders. The best place to start is this: "Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love" (Colossians 1:12-13).
What a great salvation God the Father has accomplished through Jesus Christ, the Son of His love! Those who believe in Jesus have been removed from the power of darkness and brought into God's light, and He has also qualified us to share in all the blessings He gives. We do not have to earn a place; He makes us fit for that inheritance by redeeming us and forgiving our sins through faith in Christ.
Paul also writes about being thankful to God for his fellow believers. "We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints" (1:3-4). It is a wonderful thing to travel far from home and yet be able to meet with fellow believers, enjoying a warm relationship with them just because of our common bond in our Lord Jesus Christ. The phrase "all the saints" includes every Christian we might meet; having love for every follower of Jesus will enlarge our hearts and encourage our steps as we travel through this world.
The last reference to being thankful is in Colossians 4:2. "Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving." The way to keep on being thankful is to keep on praying. When we remind ourselves in prayer that we depend on God, we realize how faithful He has been; and we are thankful. When we have hard times-- and there will be hard times in a new year-- we can persevere by being watchful in our prayers and keeping the attitude of thanksgiving going.
God wants to hear from us, and He strengthens us for every need. Therefore, Christians can always be thankful!
Based on a New Year's Eve message by Matt Gläser