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“I had a bad day.”

August 7, 2013
Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry

 

Did you have a bad day? As a believer in Christ, how can you remain thankful to God when you had a bad day—when, for example, people have wronged you? Well, learn from the Puritan Matthew Henry (1662–1714) who once had a bad experience in which he was robbed, and the thieves took everything of value from him. But later that evening he wrote these words in his diary:

I am thankful that during these years I have never been robbed before. Also, even though they took my money, they did not take my life. Although they took all I had, it was not much. Finally, I am grateful that it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.

Sometimes when we are surrounded with many problems, we tend to overlook God’s providential blessings to us. We focus too much on our problem, and lose sight of God’s providence. Do we still see the sovereign hand of God working in us in the midst of our difficulties? Are we still aware that God causes all things to work together for our good—for our sanctification—in order for us to be more conformed to the image of His Son? As Paul says in Romans 8:28-30,

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Let us learn to sing with the hymn writer Johnson Oatman, Jr. (1856-1922):

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Remember that even in our bad experience, we can still find reasons to give thanks to God: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:18).

 

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