Thanksgiving is here! I encourage you today to lift your gratitude to the heart and ears of God. Thank him for all good in your life and the trials too; be boldly thankful like I encouraged you in last week’s blog. Above all, give thanks to God for the victory he has won in your life through Jesus Christ your savior.
For each true follower of Christ, there is a battle raging daily. You can feel it in every decision you make and action you take as your flesh (the sin in you) battles your spirit (the Holy Spirit that dwells in you after salvation). Paul recognized this easily and he wrote about it to the Romans in chapter 7. He writes at length regarding the desire of the Spirit in us to do good, God-pleasing works, while our flesh causes us to continue to sin. In verses 19 and 21 he says, “ For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.”
After a lengthy discourse, Paul says (I picture him shouting it), “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (verse 24). Oh, the frustration! It is overwhelming! The deeper your walk with Jesus is the more you hate the sin you see in yourself. And you see it constantly. You know that it is this sin that keeps you from serving your Lord with all of your heart. Yet, you can’t seem to get away from it. Like Paul says, you want to do right, but evil is always right there with you.
Are we without any hope? I am totally wretched, it’s true! I feel it just like Paul explains it in Romans 7. So who will rescue us from this body of death?
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! - verse 25
Paul gives the answer quickly…it’s Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only answer possible; he killed our sins when he died on the cross for us. Through Christ, the battle is already won! For those of us who follow Jesus, we know that he died once for all of our sins, every sin we will ever commit. The direct result and only appropriate response is thanksgiving! For that reason we shout, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” This knowledge causes us to surrender in thankful worship to the one who saves us from our wretchedness.
Lift your voices to God today and every day; give him the thanks due his name!