Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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I remember being surprised at times when I was young in the Lord by an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness that would sweep over me at the oddest times. On one occasion, which I remember as if it were yesterday, I was walking up to the front door of my parents apartment with that great, overwhelming gratitude filling my heart. When I saw the bricks out of which their apartment building was made, I could not refrain from praising God for giving man the knowledge to make bricks and to build with them. I loved those bricks and all the wonderful things men know how to do with them! Now, I suspect that the thankfulness which filled me at that moment would have caused me to feel thankful for whatever happened to be in my path at that moment, but the bricks happen to be there. At any rate, I was thankful for them, the mortar, the men who laid them - whoever they were - and everything else associated with them, the workers' tools, their employers, the cars that took them to the job site, the sunlight that allowed me to see the bricks that day, my parents who lived there so that I came to that place and saw those bricks, and every other building and wall on earth made of brick - everything! I loved God so much for His mercy and goodness in giving bricks to mankind! What a wonderful blessing bricks have been!
This holy sense of thankfulness does not, of course, stop with bricks. Consider how very many other things we have to be thankful for, some of less benefit to us than bricks, and many others far more beneficial! Just as David said, God "daily loads us with benefits." Our God truly is a wonderful God.
Paul must have known such a feeling. He told the saints to give thanks both for everything (Eph. 5:20) and in everything (1Thess. 5:18). I am one who can testify that the holy Ghost can fill you with such a degree of thankfulness that neither Paul nor anyone else need tell you to be thankful, for you cannot keep from thanking God for everything and everyone that He has put in your life.