His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. I Peter 1:3
In the day, I was a big fan of the Batman and Robin show. Ever-alert to protecting life, limb, and property against the enemies of virtue, the dynamic duo never tired of taking on the bad guys: The Penguin, The Riddler, Anarky, Cat Woman, and don’t forget cool, cool, Mr. Freeze. What Batman and Robin knew, that we often forget, is that there is always a lurking enemy, waiting to prey upon the things esteemed as good.
Thankfulness has enemies. Doubt, Do-It-Yourself Pride, and More & More Stuff are always ready to steal from our “very great and precious promises” (I Pet. 1:4). But unlike Gotham City, there is no Bat Phone for us to dial–we must face on our own these violators of our hearts.
I’ve been studying God’s providence. How does God relate to the world? Does He control each thing? How much freedom is worked into the creation? These are all questions I’ve been ordering out in my mind and wrestling with their answer’s implications. While I feel like I know less now than before I started the study, one truth I cling to: God’s provision for His creation is an overflow of His redemptive purposes. God provides for us because He wants us to be redeemed!
The earth is God’s stage for His redemptive drama. You and I are in the show; no matter how stage-shy we may be. As supporting actors in God’s theater, our characters should be marked by a pronounced sense of gratitude for God’s purposive provision.
As we recognize and respond to the truth “He has given us everything required for life and godliness,” we do violence against the enemies, like Two-Face, who seek to distort and deplete our gratitude for all that God has done to draw people into His “own glory and goodness.”
Providence should make us happily thankful people! All we need, we already have.
What Batman and Robin knew about “glory and goodness” is that it must be protected–like life and limb and property. Do we treasure God’s revelation of redemption deeply enough? Each villain in Gotham had a weakness–once Batman and Robin identified it, they were able to conquer it.
What will weaken the power in your life of Doubt, Do-It-Yourself Pride, and More, More Stuff? Thanksgiving! Deep heart-felt thanksgiving for all God’s provisions in your life. Let His provisions awaken you to His glory and goodness.
Today I am deeply thankful for:
1. When God created the world, He did it with redemption in view. My redemption. Yours.
2. I don’t need anything. Nope, not even the cool iPad…not the winter trip to Hawaii…not even another cup of coffee. I already have the Best this world cannot offer me. There is nothing more I need.
3. I don’t have to worry about what I will need tomorrow. God will provide for my tomorrows as He has today. I don’t have to figure it out or remedy it. My pride can be humbled under the strength of God’s future provision.
4. God’s provision comes by “His divine power.” Bam! Pow! Thump! Whatever seems too big or dead in my life, is under the care of God’s hand…the same hand that raised Christ from the dead. I am not trusting in a God who has to measure out His activity because He will become fatigued or depleted. Take that, Mr. Doubt!
5. God’s provision comes with His promise. He’s not going to pull the carpet out from underneath me. I’m not going to find out that He is a criminal in disguise or that His gifts of goodness are a bribe or manipulation. No! His provision allows us to share in the divine nature as a means of escaping all that is corrupt. (Who can read that sentence and not be thankful?) The more deeply we come to know God, the less appealing the false securities of Gotham City become.
Are you weary from the battle? Take up your superhero weapon of thanksgiving! It will subdue your enemies faster than a high-speed Batarang flung from Batman’s utility belt.