“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. Psalm 100:4
Do you know what the most repeated phrase in the Bible is? Some of you may be guessing, “Fear not.” That is actually the most repeated command. But the most repeated phrase is, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His mercy endures forever.” Other translations may say, “His faithful love endures forever”. Or simply, “His love endures forever.”
Regardless of what your translation states, it envelops the same message: God is good. It may be hard to say those three words right now. But do you know God’s will for your life? In everything, give thanks. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:8)
When God says everything, He means e v e r y t h i n g. Every circumstance, every situation, every stage of life, every person, every blessing, every pain. There is a word that encompasses all of this. It is eucharisteo. This simple word can possibly be seen as the meaning of life here on earth. Ann Voskamp in her book, One Thousand Gifts, explains it like this:
“Eucharisteo, thanksgiving, envelops the Greek word for grace, charis. But it also holds its derivative, the Greek word chara, meaning “joy”…Deep chara joy is found only at the table of euCHARisteo– the table of thanksgiving…As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible.”
Joy is always possible. Though this may feel impossible at the moment with our present struggles, it is possible with Christ because of His sacrifice.
As I think of what I am thankful for this season, eternal life is the best and greatest gift that I have (as cliche as that sounds). But, there are times in our lives that eternal life seems to be staring us in the face, especially as we watch loved ones suffer or are separated from other loved ones. But in those times, we have a very real encounter with Jesus’ sacrifice. Our suffering is so profound that no other words can infiltrate our souls as much as Jesus’ words on the cross: “It is finished.”
Death is finished. Sin is finished. Satan is finished. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:38-39). His love in this magnitude cannot be reckoned with. There is no accurate description of the peace and comfort we have access to in the deepest pit of our sorrows.
If we think about someone in the Bible who has suffered, our minds almost instantly think of Job. No one envies his suffering or longs to live the life of Job. However, it is believed that the 40 chapters in the book of Job that explicitly describe his intense suffering, only lasted for a total of 9 months. And after his suffering ended, Job lived another 140 years. Did Job know that he would stand still in his suffering for only 9 months? No. But, God did. He never worried about what was going to happen next or if Job was going to make it. I believe one of the absolute hardest things about suffering on earth is not knowing exactly when it will end.
And this is where we enter Jesus. We put Him right in the middle of our suffering because He sees it all from beginning to end. We can access that deep chara joy because we are not alone. Our suffering will end. That is a promise. (Revelation 21:4) So whether it is 9 days, 9 weeks, 9 months, or 9 years, there is an end in sight. Our suffering is but momentary in comparison to our life after death.
Friends, I’m not sure what you are facing right now in this season. But, in our life, we never lose anything because everything belongs to the Lord. Even if we have “nothing”, we still have Christ.
Eucharisteo is the closest we can come to seeing Jesus face-to-face. Our hearts bowed in thankfulness grants us a tiny glimpse of Heaven, our true Home. Let’s enter this holiday season and season of life with eucharisteo in our hearts, and enter His presence with a song of praise. For He is good, and His faithful love endures forever. Amen.
This is dedicated to the one who lived out the meaning of eucharisteo in the midst of much pain and suffering. We love you, Britton.