God is good, even when its dark!
God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good!
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 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 a very painful experience. So, how can you express gratitude during this dark moment?
At the end of his sermon that day, Matthew Henry narrated this story of how he was robbed along the way and expressed how thankful he was! Here is what he said:
First and foremost, I am grateful that I have never been robbed before,” he stated.
Second, I am grateful that, while the robber took my money, he did not take my life.
Third, I’m thankful that that robber 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!
Friend, this story about how grateful Matthew Henry was even though he was in the middle of a disaster is very challenging to us. Most of the time, when bad things happen to us, we don’t give thanks. Instead, we complain and get angry at God for letting it happen, even though we are his faithful servants.
There is a song which says,
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
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)