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From the Pastor - November 2013

posted Nov 2, 2013, 10:27 AM by Linda Dickinson

THE SECRET OF THANKS

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In 1637 Pastor Martin Rinkart wrote the wonderful hymn “Now Thank We All Our God” which begins with the words:

Now thank we all our God, with hearts and hands and voices,

Who wondrous things hath done, in whom this world rejoices;

Who from our mothers’ arms, hath blessed us on our way.

With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today

 

Obviously, things must have been going well for Pastor Rinkart.  His heart is overflowing with thanks and praise.  WRONG!  He wrote this hymn during one of the most difficult times in Western Europe, the Thirty Years War.  Rinkart was a pastor in the town of Eilenberg, Germany.  The city was besieged and overcrowded with refugees.  People were dying of starvation and disease.  Originally there were four pastors in Eilenberg, but one had fled the city, two others had died, this left Pastor Rinkart to do 40 to 50 funerals a day.  His own wife had died earlier that year.  Was Martin Rinkart insane?  Had this dear pastor cracked from the weight of the overwhelming situation he found himself in?  No, on the contrary, Martin Rinkart had learned the secret of thanks.

Philippians 4: 4-7 declares, “Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again:  Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your request to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

These words of truth come from the Apostle Paul who was beaten, stoned, persecuted, shipwrecked, and left for dead.  He too, knew the secret of giving thanks.

Psalm 100:4 calls us to, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.”

So as we once again enter into the season of Thanksgiving, let’s ask Jesus to grant us the grace to continuously be thankful people.  As the blood-bought children of God, we have so much to rejoice and give thanks about.  You know as well as I do: this is a lifestyle, not an annual holiday.  If you find yourself falling into grumbling or anxiousness, think of Martin Rinkart.  Remember what he went through and how he learned the secret of continuously giving thanks.  Watch and see what God does with your life as you become a living sacrifice of thanks and praise.

So Thankful for You All,

Pastor Fred

P.S.   Here’s the rest of the hymn Pastor Rinkart wrote:

 

O may this bounteous God, through all our life be near us,

With ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us,

And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed,

And free us from all ills in this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given,

The Son, and Him who reigns with them in highest heaven,

This one eternal God, whom earth and heaven adore;

For thus it was, is now, and shall be ever more.

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