In the sermon Sunday we heard about giving thanks in all circumstances. We heard about Corrie Ten Boom who worked at giving thanks in a concentration camp. I don’t know about the rest of you, but my first inclination is to squirm a little bit at that idea. I mean, doesn’t someone in a concentration camp or a tornado victim deserve to just be genuinely ticked off? Should we really expect them to be thankful in the midst of their misery?
Our verses today are what enable us to be thankful in a concentration camp or in the aftermath of a tornado. See, before Christ reconciled us to God through His death, we were headed for eternal separation from God. We deserved God’s judgement. In fact, if God wasn’t incredibly merciful, He would have brought that judgement on us the moment we first sinned! Instead of just declaring us guilty the first time we sinned, He gave us mercy and withheld the judgement we deserved. Not only that, but God sent Jesus as a man to pay for that sin so we could have fellowship with God. God reconciled us to Himself. So why can we be thankful in the midst of a concentration camp or a tornado? We can be thankful because of Romans 5:6-11. We can be thankful because no matter how bad our situation is; we are still better off than we deserve.
* I unabashedly stole the phrase “better than I deserve” from the pastor of the church I grew up in. Thanks Pastor Bob.