…the parched land shall become a pool, and the thirsty lands springs of water…(Isaiah 35:7)

His Wealth Untold

Thanksgiving in Times of Trial

By Eric Chaffey


Life has a tendency of throwing us curve balls every once in a while. And while sometimes the message we may need to hear comes from something or someone dear and cherished, sometimes it’s otherwise. 

I’ve been having some financial troubles lately. Like almost everyone out there I suppose. I love my work and the people that I work with. But sometimes it would be nice to get a little ahead. The last few months have been especially tough and it got a little tougher still with added expenses. I was in a pretty bad way last week emotionally as a result of the additional stress. Hearing about other people’s new toys and  trips here and there, and the increased advertising leading up to Pre-Christmas sales really put me in a downer. Then I had pop into my head a verse from a hymn that I’m a little embarrassed to admit I never really liked much before:

When you look at other’s with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you his wealth untold,
Count your many blessings, money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on High.

So amid the conflict weather great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all,
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

I’m not sure why I’ve never liked it too much. Maybe it’s because one too many choristers wanted me to slow it down when I’ve had occasion to play it and I like to take it at a fairly good clip. But the other day, those two verses got stuck in my head and I really think it was the Spirit trying to convey a message that I really needed to hear.

As hard as it is hearing about people’s wonderful trips, and the latest gadgets that they’ve spent money on when I’m praying that I’ll make it to the end of the month without having anything bounce, I really do have a lot to be grateful for. I have a roof over my head, a car that runs, and enough food. I’ve also got a loving Heavenly Father who has given me everything I’ve needed. Not everything I wanted, but everything I’ve needed. Perhaps my student loan will never be paid off in my lifetime. Other people I’ve know and love have staggering expenses, but still make it through with their hope and faith intact.

In thinking about all of this in a broader context, I’m remembering some lessons I’ve learned from the scriptures as well that have taken on new meaning when it comes to giving thanks in times of adversity. Miracles are happening every day as they did anciently. When the Israelites had only enough oil to keep their lamps lit for 1 day it lasted for 8 days. The widow who met and helped Elijah had enough oil and flour for her and her son for one meal and yet the oil vessel never emptied, nor did the flour completely go away. When they left Egypt, the Israelites were led to the promised land by a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night and although it took them 40 years there were miracles along the one and reasons to give thanks.

So I guess the lesson that I am learning is about giving thanks even when times are tough. Because in spite of the tough times there is still much to be thankful for. And the reality is that the one with the most toys still dies. But they that wait on the Lord and die in him find their promised rest and are born to eternal life.

I’ve recently discovered a verse of a Christmas hymn that goes along with this idea of what is really important. That faith and thanksgiving even in times of adversity will bring us home. The hymn is Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming.  The fourth verse that I hadn’t been aware of before says:

O Savior, child of Mary, who felt our human woe;
O Savior, King of glory, who dost all our weakness know:
Bring us at length we pray, to the bright courts of Heaven,
And into endless day.

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3 Responses to “His Wealth Untold”

  1. Rex Goode said:

    Thanks, Eric. I get a little green with envy too. I love traveling and buying what I want. For now, those days are long gone. I hope the economy picks up soon. I could really use a better job.

  2. Rex Goode said:

    And by the way, I like it played fast. I would always rather direct a lively hymn over a funeral dirge.

  3. Eric Chaffey said:

    Thanks Rex.

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