God is good, even when its dark!
Matthew Henry, a well-known Bible scholar and author of the popular Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary, was riding his horse to a church meeting where he had been invited to preach as a guest speaker. In the middle of the forest, a man in a mask with a gun came out and stopped him. This criminal forced the preacher to get off his horse and hand over all of his money while threatening to shoot him. Matthew Henry didn’t have much money in his pocket, but he promptly took out his wallet and handed it over to the robber. The thief then ran off with it into the forest.
The theft of Matthew Henry’s wallet and the money it contained was a source of great sadness for him. However, as he resumed his journey, he reflected on God’s command in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 which says, “In everything, give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
If you have ever been robbed or cheated, you know that this can be very painful. So, how can you express gratitude during this dark moment?
At the end of his sermon that day, Matthew Henry told the story of the robbery and how thankful he was.
First and foremost, I am grateful that I have never been robbed before,” he stated.
Second, I am grateful that, while he took my money, he did not take my life.
Third, I’m thankful he didn’t take anything else; he could have stolen my horse and my clothes as well.
Next, I’m grateful that, despite the fact that this robber stole all of the money in my pocket, it wasn’t a large sum.
Then I’m thankful that everything I’ve lost can be replaced over time.
Finally, and most importantly, I’m grateful that I was the one who was robbed and not the robber!
Give thanks in all circumstances because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Ingratitude toward God is the first step toward spiritual backsliding. This is demonstrated in Romans 1, where the Apostle Paul details the road individuals walk when they turn away from God. An attitude of ingratitude is the first step he lists. Despite the fact that they were aware of God, they did not worship him or express gratitude to him. So be grateful in all you do. What are you grateful for today?
Thanksgiving is good, but thanks living is even better
— Matthew Henry (1662–1714)