A Time to Give Thanks

Dr. John Briggs

A Time to Give Thanks

5 mins
November 30, 2020

How do we recover in circumstances beyond our mortal control? 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to give thanks in everything. All too often people think that’s talking about giving thanks for everything. We serve a loving God who desires the best for us, but we do live in a fallen world and endure many perils. This is talking about how to escape the tragedy. We enter into the presence of our solutions when we give thanks. Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise.” 

When I need good council, I want to get in the presence of someone with more answers than I have. It’s not always easy to give thanks in the midst of calamity, but hang on, there’s always a way out without stressing out. Our bodies respond to the directives of the brain and our thought processes. When we’re too busy focusing on the problem in front of us, we’ll never see the solution, even when it’s right under our nose. Have you ever noticed that when you’re stumped, that leaving the issue and doing something else, the answer often will pop into your mind? Sickness and disease, like a weed needs soil to sprout and grow. When we’re faced with what looks like insurmountable issues, the worry, fear, and imagination provide the soil within which the illnesses can germinate and grow. It’s easy to stress out and provide the problem more power over us when we worry over it. 

When God gave Adam dominion in the garden, it was intended for him rule over every aspect of life. Unfortunately, he then gave it to Satan, and he dominated mankind non-stop until Jesus took it away from him and gave it back to us. 

Also unfortunately, many haven’t learned how to use it to control our lives, and instead we continue to give that dominion back to the enemy to put us back into bondage. After God miraculously delivered His people out of bondage in Egypt, taking all the Gold and Silver with them, He promised them a land flowing with milk and honey. When the spies from the twelve tribes investigated the land, they confirmed what God had said, but ten of them gave what God called an evil report, they said there were giants in the land. The two who were fully convinced that God could make happen what He promised, said we’re well able to take the land. They were ignored, and the people listened to those who relied more on what they saw than what God promised. 

I consider the news networks, Google, Facebook, Twitter and the rest to all be like the ten foolish spies, passing on more and more bad news. When God’s people believed the words of the foolish spies, they wandered in the wilderness for forty years, eventually dyeing out there. They never received God’s promised provision. Here is an example of turning our hearts cold against God’s promises. 

Deuteronomy 8:10-18 in the Message translation sums up where we need to be in this area of thanksgiving. “After a meal, satisfied, bless God, your God, for the good land he has given you. Make sure you don’t forget God, your God, by not keeping his commandments, his rules and regulations that I command you today. Make sure that when you eat and are satisfied, build pleasant houses and settle in, see your herds and flocks flourish and more and more money come in, watch your standard of living going up and up—make sure you don’t become so full of yourself and your things that you forget God, your God, the God who delivered you from Egyptian slavery; the God who led you through that huge and fearsome wilderness, those desolate, arid badlands crawling with fiery snakes and scorpions; the God who gave you water gushing from hard rock; the God who gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never heard of, in order to give you a taste of the hard life, to test you so that you would be prepared to live well in the days ahead of you. If you start thinking to yourselves, ‘I did all this. And all by myself. I’m rich. It’s all mine!’—well, think again. Remember that God, your God, gave you the strength to produce all this wealth, so as to confirm the covenant that he promised to your ancestors—as it is today.” 

As we gathered together to celebrate Thanksgiving, regardless of what problems you’ve endured this year, I hope you realized that spending time in true thanksgiving opens the door to the blessing. It’s easy to see what’s transpired through the year with COVID being tragic for many. Now I’m seeing a greater desire to draw together through all of this. May we focus on the good and be grateful. This article not only goes out to those in the United States, but to others around the world. Many don’t have the freedoms enjoyed here. We need to give thanks, even for what we don’t see. 

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Dr Briggs is a 1980 graduate of the National College of Naturopathic Medicine and has been practicing naturopathic medicine in the northwest corner of Oregon since his graduation. His practice involves diagnostic and therapeutic modalities which have stood the test of time and the challenges of diverse disease. We believe that each person exists dynamically as a spirit being, possessing a soul made up of their mind, will, and emotions, living in a body which requires specific care and nutrition. To address only the physical needs is to ignore the real person, and frequently, the real issues. We strive to address all your issues (spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical) with compassion and wisdom.

This article was orginally reported by
Dr. John Briggs

Dr. John Briggs is a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine.