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Being Thankful

Updated: Nov 25, 2021

Dr. Stephen Phinney

Let's face it. Few are thankful for all things, and fewer are thankful for having to wait on God as He unfolds the purpose of suffering. So what do we do? Realistically, most use the adage of, Fix the fix that God has fixed on you. Attempting to fix the circumstances allowed by God's sovereignty blocks the intimacy He offers through the difficulties.

Refusing to face God's sovereignty usually involves fear. As most of us know, the antidote to fear is courage. The congruent opposite of fear is faith. The Biblical way to manifest faith is by releasing Christ's faith from within while knowing mustered-up faith insults the Life of Christ who hopefully indwells you. Most importantly, fear and thanksgiving never work well together.

The word fear is found in the New Testament 299 times. While fear has two sides to its coin, fear of God & fear of man, the role of fear seems to play a significant part in our faith – or lack of it.

Fear of man.

Fear of man & evil is the greatest enemy to our faith, and the fear of man usually propagates people-pleasing or a rebellious attitude, and both get us in trouble with God. If we choose sides, we should embrace that the fear of God, which breeds honor, respect, and obedience. One of my favorite passages is written in 1 John.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. (1 John 4:18)

Since love and thanksgiving are perfect partners, fear finds no room in the inn when we understand perfect love in Christ. It flees. Furthermore, when we find ourselves punishing ourselves and others, it confesses that the fear of man is dominating our lives.