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The Scriptorium

Thanks Be to God

In everything! 2 Corinthians 2.12-14

2 Corinthians 2 (4)

Pray Psalm 27.11-13.
Teach me Your way, O LORD,
And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.

Sing Psalm 27.11-13.
(St. Denio: Immortal, Invisible God Only Wise)
LORD, teach us; LORD, lead us because of our foes!
Hear, LORD, when we plead for release from their woes.
Had we not believed all Your goodness to see,
our heart sorely grieved and in turmoil would be.

Read 2 Corinthians 2.1-14; meditate on verses 12-14.


1. Why did Paul have no rest in his spirit?

2. For what did he express gratitude?

In certain of his letters, we encounter Paul recalling or sharing about something that happened or that he did during the course of his ministry. “Bring the books and parchments.” “Demas has left me.” “I was with you in weakness.” “You ministered to me.” And so forth. These anecdotes—like the one mentioned today—can seem insignificant. But I think they tell us much about the apostle.

So he went to Troas to preach the Gospel. He writes that “a door was opened” to him—perhaps he received an invitation to come to Troas, or maybe he just thought it was a good place to go and so he went there. But can you see Paul listening for the Lord’s leading? Where next, Lord? Can you enter his mind as he ponders his options before the Lord? Do we do this or that, Lord?

He seems to have thought that he might find Titus in Troas, but he didn’t. He was anticipating being together with Titus, working together, catching up on the situation in Corinth and elsewhere. And when he didn’t find Titus, he moved on, crossing the Bosporus to Macedonia, apparently in the hope of finding him there. He had Titus on the mind, and he sought the Lord to lead him to where the two might be reunited.

And always, typically Pauline, “thanks be to God” who is always leading us to be more like Christ and to realize more of the presence, promise, and power of His Kingdom. Thanks to God in disappointment. Thanks to God in uncertainty. Thanks to God en route from here to there. Thanks to God for open doors, doors slammed shut, prison doors, or no doors at all. Thanks be to God!

That’s the most basic and doubtless the most important thing to learn, both from the letters of Paul as well as personal example. For our Good Shepherd is always caring for us, always available to us, and always leading us forward in triumph. Thanks be to God!

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
In a phone conversation last Saturday night with our daughter Ashley, she shared this story, which I will try to retell.

It seems that during dinner, her children Reagan and Ralph, who both have birthdays in June, began regaling her with all their plans for the spectacular cakes they envisioned she would make for them. Nothing elaborate, mind you, just a cake in the shape of a piano for Reagan and a basketball cake for Ralph. (As an aside, yes, she can actually do that).

Anyway, this conversation was taking place the day after Ashley had single-handedly prepared a dessert table for approximately 160 souls attending a church outreach dinner.

She also teaches school every day; and had not been feeling well for about a week. Suffice it to say, she was exhausted.

So, after the kids had finished with the “visions of sugar-plums dancing in their heads” she stated: “I hear your plans, and they sound good, but I’m so tired, I just can’t even find the strength to have more of this conversation right now.”

We can all empathize.

But that’s when her son, George, piped up with this classic line: “You know Mom, in just a few minutes, after dinner, you will be able to sit down in your chair, so I think you should be thankful for that!”

I don’t know about you, but every time I think about that conversation, it makes me laugh!

But George, and Paul, have a point and are right on the same wavelength.

“Thanks to God in disappointment. Thanks to God in uncertainty. Thanks to God en route from here to there. Thanks to God for open doors, doors slammed shut, prison doors, or no doors at all. Thanks be to God!”

“…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5.18).
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, and
His truth endures to all generations” (Ps. 100.4, 5).
“Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven!
For His mercy endures forever” (Ps. 136.26).

When we are beyond ourselves in strength, God wants us to fall back on Him, knowing with great certainty, that the eternal God is our refuge, “and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deut. 33.27).

Thanks to God for time after dinner to sit in our chair.

For reflection
1. What are some things during the day that cue you to give thanks to God?

2. Why is it so important that we give thanks in everything?

3. What can you do to become more consistent in giving thanks to the Lord?

Paul was in constant affliction everywhere he went, but this did not draw him into despair. On the contrary, he rejoiced and gave thanks, because although persecution might seem like a disgrace, in fact it was a very great honor. John Chrysostom (344-407), Homilies on the Epistles of Paul to the Corinthians 5.1

Pray Psalm 27.1-10.
Cast all your burdens on the Lord. Call on Him to give you a clear conscience so that you may serve Him this day in simplicity and godly sincerity.

Sing Psalm 27.1-10.
(St. Denio: Immortal, Invisible God Only Wise)
LORD, You are our Light and our Savior most dear!
You guard us with might; therefore, whom shall we fear?
Though evil surround us, our enemies fall;
no harm shall confound us when on You we call.

One thing we request but to dwell with You, LORD.
Your beauty to test and to think on Your Word.
In trouble You hide us secure in Your grace;
no foe may o’erride us: We sing of Your praise.

Hear, LORD, when we cry and be gracious, we pray!
LORD, do not deny us Your favor this day!
Our help, our salvation, though others may fall,
preserve our good station when on You we call.

T. M. and Susie Moore

Growing in prayer
Growing in Christ begins in and is sustained by prayer. But how can we improve our prayer life so that we grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord? Our free online course, “Perspectives on Prayer”, can lead you to a deeper and more satisfying prayer life with the Lord. Watch this brief introductory video, then enroll for the course and download the materials. Get a friend or two to go through it with you and strengthen one another for the work of prayer.

Support for Scriptorium comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

And please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe with your prayers and gifts. You can contribute online, via PayPal or Anedot, or by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 103 Reynolds Lane, West Grove, PA 19390.

Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalteravailable by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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