Thankfulness Always: Reflections on Five Years as Provost by J A S O N G . D U E S I N G
To begin my time of reflection on five years as Provost at Midwestern Seminary, I’d like to start with a brief meditation on thankfulness as I think, as one old liturgy states, “It is right to give him thanks and praise.” I’ve organized my thoughts on thankfulness around three simple headings. FIRST, IT IS GOD’S WILL TO BE THANKFUL, ALWAYS.
As the Apostle Paul instructs, believers are to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:16–18). Today you may find yourself wrestling with contentedness, discerning God’s will, or your present circumstances. You may be limping into the
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start of the semester. Or, you may be overjoyed with the blessings of God and so enthused that you cannot wait until Monday. Regardless of where you find yourself today, it is God’s will to be thankful always. SECOND, THERE IS A REASON TO BE THANKFUL, ALWAYS.
Listen to the 17th century Puritan Thomas Watson from his extended work on Romans 8:28: “See what cause the saints have to be frequent in the work of thanksgiving. In this Christians are defective; though they are much in supplication, yet little in gratulation. The apostle says, ‘In everything give thanks’ (1 Thess. 5:18).
Why so? Because God makes everything work for our good. “We thank the physician, though he gives us bitter medicine which makes us sick, because it is to make us well; we thank any man that does us a good turn; and shall we not be thankful to God, who makes everything work for good to us? God loves a thankful Christian. “Job thanked God when He took all away: ‘The Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord’ (Job 1:21). Many will thank God when He gives; Job thanks Him when He takes away, because he knew God would work good out of it. “We read of saints with harps in their
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