Thankfulness is on my mind these days. It all started a few weeks ago when Dr. John Beckman, our Associate Professor of Old Testament, shared a faculty devotion that was both stirring and striking. He unpacked for us his journey of thankfulness that revolved around Scripture passages like Ephesians 5:20, “giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” and 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ for you.”
Stirring and striking. Stirring, because of his encouragement and the fresh reminder of “the rightness of gratitude,” the well-crafted title of the first chapter in Pastor Sam Crabtree’s book on the topic. It is fitting—“morally appropriate”—to give thanks. Striking, because of the blow Dr. Beckman’s devotion dealt my heart. Always? For everything? In all circumstances? May the Lord grant you as much grace as I myself need if you, too, struggle with pervasive thankfulness of the scriptural sort: always, for everything, and in all.
And yet, at the encouragement of Dr. Beckman and Pastor Sam, I am practicing. I am exercising my resolve to trade in the possible moments of complaint and grumbling for the opportunity to thank our good Father. I am training myself to keep my eyes open for the moments when thankfulness should burst forth from my lips amid everything from challenging family illness to 63ºF days here in Minneapolis. So because practice makes progress (not perfect, right?), let me take this chance to put “thankfulness in action” (another Pastor Sam exclusive!).
I am thankful that on the other side of the trial that gripped a nation standing on a knife’s edge, our city is not in turmoil. I am thankful for my outstanding first-year students who have given me the pleasure of studying the Old and New Testament together. I am thankful that summer break is on the horizon. I am thankful for you and your unceasing support of our institution. I am thankful for my church and the joy it is to hear singing—not just my own, but congregational singing. I am thankful for my wife, who is the wind in my sails in moments of discouragement and tiredness. I am thankful that before the foundation of the world, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ predestined all in Christ for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:5).
So now it is your turn. What are you thankful for? We have much to be grateful for and plenty of situations to be thankful in. Let’s be unceasing in our thankfulness.
Lewis Guest, IV, M.Div.
Instructor of Bible and Theology
- Pray that the commencement ceremony this evening would be a God-glorifying celebration of our graduates.
- Praise that our students, faculty, and staff were able to complete the 2020—2021 school year in-person.
- Pray that the summer break would be restful and rejuvenating for our students and faculty.
- Pray that the Alex Steddom International Student Fund would be filled such that we may welcome another student into the seminary this fall.