Though the fig tree should not blossom,
fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
GOD, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places.
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.
The above passage may seem to be a strange Thanksgiving text. The prophet writes of rejoicing in the salvation and strength of the Sovereign LORD even in the midst of utter desolation, loss, destruction, poverty, famine and death. Giving thanks, rejoicing in the face of evils that rage about us, is a discipline rooted in the goodness and sustenance of our gracious God. Perhaps many of us haven’t experienced the kind of loss, devastation and abandonment referred to by Habakkuk; perhaps many of us have. Either way, we can thankfully rejoice that God makes our feet sure, giving us the ability to stand, even advance, in his strength and sure hope of a better, perfect Kingdom.
Fred Harburg, a Senior Fellow of the Trinity Forum, writes, “Selfless gratitude-the ability to appreciate the goodness of life while simultaneously feeling deep empathy for the pain and suffering of others-is one of a leader’s most important qualities. . . . I have seen that genuine gratitude in the face of difficulty is an attribute-perhaps the attribute-that most distinguishes the great from the good.”
Let us gratefully rejoice that God supports, encourages and loves all of us, whether we are in want or in plenty, and he faithfully makes us tread on high places of hope and courage.
Thanks be to God, our salvation, our strength and our comfort!
We at the Institute for Worship Studies are so thankful for the Lord’s bountiful blessings during this past year, and for your support of our crucial mission of real spiritual transformation through worship renewal. Please take a moment to read the 2011-12 Annual Report.
You will find it to be an enjoyable and interesting read. Join us in thanking all who have made this year an unprecedented success!You are encouraged to forward this link to interested friends and potential students.
Your prayerful and sacrificial generosity toward the Lord’s work through the ongoing ministry of IWS is absolutely vital to the mission of worship renewal. We not only appreciate your participation, we depend on it! Thank you for your partnership with IWS.
The Lord be with you,
James R. Hart, President
Giving to IWS
See the form included with the Annual Report. Checks can be made out to IWS, noted “IWS Fund” and/or “Scholarship Fund” and sent to IWS, 151 Kingsley Ave., Orange Park, FL 32073. Your gift should be postmarked by December 31 to be counted in this calendar year. Gifts may be designated in memory or honor of a loved one, and/or may be anonymous. All gifts are tax-deductible. You may also give to IWS online.
Please click here for information on legacy giving.