We must "give thanks with much
joy." For it is possible to give thanks from fear and to
give thanks from sorrow as Job gave thanks in anguish, saying:
"The Lord gave, the Lord taketh away." What happened
to Job pained him and filled his soul with dejection; yet he was
thankful . . . but with sorrow.
But we must give thanks with joy,
"for the Father has made you worthy to share the lot of the
saints. Christ has given us and has made us also worthy to share the
lot of the saints; He gave us dignity and made us fit to be
In nature, this is difficult; you
may give someone the dignity of governorship but you cannot make him
fit. To have the dignity without the fitness makes one
ridiculous; to have both is an honor.
God gave us the honor to be sons of
God AND gave us the skill to be so; He placed us with the saints AND
also made us holy. God did both; for it is possible to be in
the same city and yet not partaker of the joys of that city.
'Heaven is an inheritance; it is
not the result of achievement.' Thus, "when ye have done all,
say, we are unprofitable servants, for we have done that which was
our duty to do."
Christ has rescued us from the
power of darkness. The power of darkness is ERROR; error is the
dominion of the devil. We were rescued not merely from the
darkness BUT from the POWER OF DARKNESS; because error has a power
that holds us fast. He who is in error is held by the power of
"Be mindful, first, of the
great benefit we have obtained and, secondly, from what we have been
delivered . . . " so that we may always be thankful to Him and
heighten our love for Him. We are called to eternal life and
how many of us are excited?
Unbelief comes from an effeminate
soul, a soft soul. "They ate and drank and therefore they
believed not." "Let's eat and be merry for tomorrow we
die!" No, not tomorrow. Even now you are dead!