Obviously, the significance of Thanksgiving is that it is a time to pause and contemplate all the things we have to be thankful for.
Some broad categories for which I am thankful are Faith, Family, Friends, and Country, just like many of you, I imagine. But in this post, I will zero in on a significant aspect within the category of Faith whose impact carried over into Family, Friends, and Country.
It was about 9 years ago, when God first introduced me to the concept of fiery darts. That instruction opened my understanding of how I had been victimized by my own thoughts. Negative thoughts or what I eventually began to see as fiery darts. I shudder to think the course my life would have taken, had I not been awakened to the destructive force of fiery dart thinking.
As my training proceeded, I began learning how I had been deceived by my old nature (my thoughts and attitudes prior to my becoming a Christian), and the world’s concept of truth (a truth void of God’s Truth). I discovered that the world’s concepts of truth held more sway over my thinking than God’s concept of Truth.
That deception was advanced by my lack of spending time with God in His word. Notice, I didn’t mention that I did not spend time with God in prayer! Because I spent a lot of time praying. But you know what that amounted to? I spent a lot more time talking to God rather than listening to Him. For we hear God’s voice when we read the Bible.
When my talking to God and my listening to God got in balance, then and only then, did I find my way out of the bondage I had placed myself in with fiery dart thinking.
This balance impacted how I dealt with problems within the context of family and friend relationships. It encouraged me to take those problems to God. Faithfully He would lead me to a particular scripture or scriptures that would shed light on how I should respond.
There hasn’t been an area in my life that this balance hasn’t impacted. For example, instead of despairing over the negativity of our recent political climate, God reminds me of 2 Chronicles 7:14. My prayers for my country are worded according to God’s Word, not my despair.
When disaster strikes our nation, I’m reminded of verses such as John 16:33. My prayers are worded with the hope found there, not my fears.
Knowing how to counterattack the temptation to think negatively about our problems, presents us with a perspective that will identify solutions.
My expressions of thankfulness this holiday will be centered on the gratefulness I feel towards God for opening my understanding to what fiery darts are and how to defeat them. For that knowledge has enhanced the gratefulness I feel towards
What do fiery darts have to do with Christmas anyway?
Maybe I should ask another question.
Is there anything about the way we here in America celebrate Christmas that bothers you? Whoa! Hold on, I can’t type that fast!
Yes, it does seem that we have lost sight of the true meaning of Christmas. So much so, that we find ourselves in the midst of a cultural war attempting to prevent us from even saying Merry Christmas in public places.
You see, Satan’s hidden agenda (Um, maybe not so hidden anymore) is to get us to focus more (a lot more) on Santa or some magical substitutional Christmas spirit than we do Jesus. Eventually, pushing Jesus out of the picture altogether, I’m sure!
That is just a sampling of the problems with which we contend during Christmas. And if we aren’t careful fiery darts like frustration, depression, selfishness, loneliness, greed, stress, or anger and certainly the lack of personal and world peace will find us vulnerable targets!
The side affects of an over-commercialized Christmas are burdensome but added to that the persecution of Christians, especially in middle eastern countries, the heaviness of such a load is more than any of us could carry and the joy of Christmas seems beyond our grasp.
But do not despair!
Armed with the following Truth thoughts we can wage a successful war on such fiery darts and reclaim the blessedness of Christmas in spite of the darkness that tempts us to despair.
Jesus came to this earth as a baby, grew up and preached to all He could that God had sent Him to save the world. He accomplished this by dying on the cross and coming back to life–that’s what we refer to as the Resurrection. When we accept that personally then we have the promised hope of heaven and peace reigns in our hearts. (Fiery darts fizzle in the face of such Truth!)
And there’s absolutely nothing about Santa or a Christmas spirit that can compare to that; much less change that.
We have the ability by God’s grace to resist the fiery darts, like the ones I mentioned previously, that accompanies an over-commercialized Christmas, and, instead, partake of the splendors of a Christmas centered on the love, joy, and peace inspired by faith in the Christ-child.
And what about the cultural war on Christmas? Do you realize that all this upheaval only serves to broadcast the good news to anyone who has ears to listen. (I call that a fiery dart that backfired)
Does the persecution tempt you to despair? Listen my dear readers, as horrible as it is, remember this–when a Christian leaves this earth they have Jesus and heaven waiting on them. For those they leave behind, this is their comfort! And their loved ones who believe in Jesus too, have the confidence that at some point in the future they will be reunited.