An African Dream: Thankfulness Preserves Good

I woke this morning with an amazing song in my mind, it’s known as an ear worm when a song keeps playing over and over in your mind, and this a song I’m okay with having in my mind. The song is – My African Dream – Vicky Sampson.

‘Cause in my African dream, there’s a new tomorrow My African dream, is dream that we can follow Now when the night begins to fall I listen for your call, I listen for you heartbeat Alone my dream is just a dream Another false illusion, a shadow in the night All I want is for our hearts to be beating just as one To silence the confusion Then the pain and the illusion will disappear again And we will never run”

What a wonderful God we serve that in these difficult and unprecedented times we are living in, with this COVID-19 pandemic, that He would seek to encourage me with this song. I love my country.

Scriptures

James 4:1-2 NIV

4 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.

1 Timothy 4:1-4 NIV

4 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,

Why is there so much bad in the world? In the scripture from James, he wonders the same thing. In James 4:1-2 he answers our question: “Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.”

The fact of the day: The reason there is so much bad in the world – the blame rests squarely with you and me. Just like Adam and Eve couldn’t stand the thought of someone else being in control our lives except us. Anyone who poses a risk to our view of the “good life” is perceived as a threat to our existence. All this fighting for our “rights” originates from our sinful nature.

The heartbreaking truth is that though we flaunt the catchphrase that we “know what’s best for us,” but we do not. In pursuit of our desires we cause killing, hate, we compete with one another, and enslave one another in the pursuit of what we consider happiness.

Consider the conflicts in your life, and instead of looking at them with a victim mentality, consider how you may have contributed to your own selfish mentality. Consider also the words of Timothy, in essence, he notes the same thing as James, but he takes it one step further. Not only do our desires seek to “get what they want,” but then we start trying to hold our wants over others. We start to create laws, judgments, and stipulations for people so that they will fit into our ways. This is called religion.

Timothy is not trying to free us up to do whatever we want in the name of being thankful, but by thanking the right person — in all cases, God the Creator—we protect ourselves from ourselves, we are after all our own worst enemies.

Consider how thankfulness brings you under control and causes you to begin putting things, people, and circumstances into their rightful place. Everything is used rightly when we honour God through thankfulness.

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