Sunday, November 23rd, 2017
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
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1. O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
2. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;
9. For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.
14. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.
20. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
21. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
13. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.
19 …my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
1 O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things;
4 For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat,
9 …Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
19 The LORD God is my strength,
1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim,
2 And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb.
6 And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb.
7 And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.
10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.
11 And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.
20 Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD.
28 Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there.
1 And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.
2 There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.
8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and he hath set the world upon them.
11 …And the child did minister unto the LORD before Eli the priest.
3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
12 …Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might,
be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
"God is Love." More than this we cannot ask, higher we cannot look, farther we cannot go.
The "divine ear" is not an auditory nerve. It is the all-hearing and all-knowing Mind, to whom each need of man is always known and by whom it will be supplied.
Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.
Trials teach mortals not to lean on a material staff, — a broken reed, which pierces the heart. We do not half remember this in the sunshine of joy and prosperity. Sorrow is salutary. Through great tribulation we enter the kingdom. Trials are proofs of God's care. Spiritual development germinates not from seed sown in the soil of material hopes, but when these decay, Love propagates anew the higher joys of Spirit, which have no taint of earth. Each successive stage of experience unfolds new views of divine goodness and love.
Who that has felt the loss of human peace has not gained stronger desires for spiritual joy? The aspiration after heavenly good comes even before we discover what belongs to wisdom and Love. The loss of earthly hopes and pleasures brightens the ascending path of many a heart. The pains of sense quickly inform us that the pleasures of sense are mortal and that joy is spiritual.
The pains of sense are salutary, if they wrench away false pleasurable beliefs and transplant the affections from sense to Soul, where the creations of God are good, "rejoicing the heart." Such is the sword of Science, with which Truth decapitates error, materiality giving place to man's higher individuality and destiny.
Would existence without personal friends be to you a blank? Then the time will come when you will be solitary, left without sympathy; but this seeming vacuum is already filled with divine Love. When this hour of development comes, even if you cling to a sense of personal joys, spiritual Love will force you to accept what best promotes your growth. Friends will betray and enemies will slander, until the lesson is sufficient to exalt you; for "man's extremity is God's opportunity." The author has experienced the foregoing prophecy and its blessings. Thus He teaches mortals to lay down their fleshliness and gain spirituality.
His work is done, and we have only to avail ourselves of God's rule in order to receive His blessing, which enables us to work out our own salvation.
We admit theoretically that God is good, omnipotent, omnipresent, infinite, and then we try to give information to this infinite Mind. We plead for unmerited pardon and for a liberal outpouring of benefactions. Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more. Gratitude is much more than a verbal expression of thanks. Action expresses more gratitude than speech.
If we are ungrateful for Life, Truth, and Love, and yet return thanks to God for all blessings, we are insincere and incur the sharp censure our Master pronounces on hypocrites. In such a case, the only acceptable prayer is to put the finger on the lips and remember our blessings. While the heart is far from divine Truth and Love, we cannot conceal the ingratitude of barren lives.
Christians rejoice in secret beauty and bounty, hidden from the world, but known to God. Self-forgetfulness, purity, and affection are constant prayers. Practice not profession, understanding not belief, gain the ear and right hand of omnipotence and they assuredly call down infinite blessings.
Pilgrim on earth, thy home is heaven; stranger, thou art the guest of God.
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