Thankfulness results from coming to grips with the mercy and grace of God. And, this week I will teach that thankfulness is a result of knowing the greatness of God in your life.
In Luke 8, Jesus is preparing to send His disciples out to witness and minister in His Name, so He wants to give them a fresh encounter with His greatness. This chapter records four miracles Jesus did to demonstrate His power.
Let me give you examples of what I mean:
JESUS DEMONSTRATES POWER OVER DISASTER, Luke 8:22-25
The disciples were sailing across the lake with Jesus in the boat when a violent storm fell upon the lake. Matthew uses the word "seismos" to describe the violence of the waves shaking the boat. Luke calls it a "lailaps" or a whirlwind. The text in Luke makes it clear that the disciples' lives were endangered by this powerful storm.
In their fear-induced panic they cried out to Jesus for help and accused Him of not caring about their safety. But in a moment Jesus arose, spoke to the storm and they watched the storm instantly cease!
JESUS DEMONSTRATES POWER OVER DEMONS, Luke 8:26-39
Upon landing at their destination on the other side of the lake, they were met by a man possessed of numerous evil and dark spirits. Because of the violent effects of his possession, this man was a danger to himself and others. This poor soul was suffering from a spiritual storm raging within, but Jesus rebuked them and drove them out!
JESUS DEMONSTRATES POWER OVER DISEASE, Luke 8:40-48
After delivering the demonic, He met a desperate father whose daughter lay dying. This man strongly urged Jesus to come and heal his daughter.
Before He was able to make much progress, He felt a tug on the hem of His garment. Feeling that touch caused Him to stop and asked who it was who touched Him.
When this woman was identified as one having a bleeding issue, Jesus healed her of her disease and she was made whole!
JESUS DEMONSTRATES HIS POWER OVER DEATH, Luke 8:49-56
Continuing on His way to Jairus' house to attend to his daughter they were met by a servant bringing the terrible news that she had died.
Naturally, Jairus and his wife were distraught by this report but Jesus reassured them that it would be alright because she was just sleeping. Ignoring the ridicules of those who didn't believe, Jesus proved that not only did He have power over disaster, and power over demons and power over disease, He proved He has power over death when he took her by the hand and raised her back to life!
How can you not be thankful when you realize you know and serve a God who has power over any disaster that could ever befall you?
How can you not be thankful when you realize you know and serve a God who has power over demonic spirits that could trouble you?
How can you not be thankful when you realize you know and serve a God who even holds power over death?