Children’s Story – All Comes From Above

In a humble cottage in France, a poor godly man was dying. Calling his only son to him, he said, “My dear little Pierre, you will soon be left alone, and many troubles will come to you in this world; but always remember that all comes from above; then you will find it easy to bear everything with patience.”

Shortly after this, the poor man died, and little Pierre found himself quite alone in the world. The only thing he could do for a living was to go out and beg. As he went from door to door in the villages, he would sing for the people receiving from them just enough to keep him alive. Every time anybody gave him some food or money, he would say, “It comes from above,” remembering his father’s last words. It became a habit with him to use these words whatever happened to him, and he found that they did indeed help him to bear everything with patience.

One day, as he was passing through a village, a sudden gust of wind blew a tile of the roof of a nearby house. It struck Pierre on the shoulder, knocking him to the ground.

“It comes from above,” were his first words as he got back on his feet. But, as you can image, the people standing around nearby, laughed heartily.

A minute later, however, another gust of wind tore off the entire roof of a cottage a little farther down the street. Had little Pierre gone on, he might have been killed by it. So he thought to himself that the tile that had struck and hurt him had indeed “come from above” in more senses than one.

On another occasion, little Pierre was employed by a wealthy gentleman to carry an important letter to a businessman in a neighboring town. As he was told to be quick, Pierre ran as fast as he could. Coming to a stream, he tried to jump over it, but, he fell in and was nearly drowned. When he finally climbed out onto the bank drenched and weary, he found that the precious letter had disappeared. He tried, but could not find it anywhere in the muddy water. “It comes from above,” he murmured to himself as he sadly made his way back to the rich gentleman’s house.

Naturally enough, the gentleman was very angry with him. In fact, he drove him out of his house. But all Pierre could say was, “It comes from above.”

The next day, however, the gentleman sent for him. “Your falling into that stream was a fortunate accident for me,” he said. “Circumstances have changed overnight. If that letter had been delivered, I should have been involved in serious loss. Please accept this little gift as a token of my gratitude.” And the gentleman put more money in little Pierre’s hand than he had seen in a long time.

“It comes from above,” he said, as he went down the steps smiling.

And so Pierre grew up always believing that the hand of God was ordering his life, confident that, as it says in Romans 8:28: “All things work together for good to them that love God.” One day he, too, became a successful businessman.

We too should have such a faith in our heavenly Father. It will save us much needless sorrow and discouragement, and will fill our hearts with a quiet peace and confidence to bear everything with patience, as we remember that, “all comes from above.” Try it for yourself and see how God can work in your life!

Keys to the Storehouse – Thankful or Thankless? Which Are You?

“God has put it in our power to obtain a knowledge of the laws of life. This knowledge has been placed within our reach for use. We should employ every facility for the restoration of health, taking every advantage possible, working in harmony with natural laws. When we have prayed for the recovery of the sick, we can work with all the more energy, thanking God that we have the privilege of co-operating with Him, and asking His blessing on the means which He Himself has provided.” Conflict and Courage, 240.

Work and pray with God in restoring the health to yourself and to others, thanking Him for the privilege of cooperating with Him. Are you thankful?

“All the powers of our being, every means of our existence and happiness, all the blessings of the warm sunshine and the refreshing showers, causing vegetation to flourish, every comfort and every blessing of this life, comes from God. He sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. The treasures of heaven are poured out to all.” The Signs of the Times, December 12, 1878.

There is so much to be thankful for:

  • The powers of our being
  • Every means of our existence and happiness
  • All the blessings of the warm sunshine and the refreshing showers causing vegetation to flourish
  • Every comfort and every blessing of this life
  • All the treasures of heaven

Are you thankful or thankless?

“The great mass of mankind take the gift from their heavenly Father’s hand but make no acknowledgment to Him. They seem to take it for granted that these bounties are their rightful due, and forget that God is the giver. They do not even acknowledge their obligations by thanking God for His mercies. Indeed they treat no other friend so ill. They sit at the family board, loaded with bounties from His hand, and render no thanks to Him. They enjoy the gifts, but despise the giver.” Ibid.

The thankless worldling:

  • takes the gift but makes no acknowledgment to Him
  • takes it for granted that these bounties are their rightful due, and forget that God is the giver
  • do not even acknowledge their obligations by thanking God for His mercies
  • sit at the family board, loaded with bounties from His hand, and render no thanks to Him

“The worst feature of this picture is, many who profess to be followers of Christ pursue the same course as the unbeliever and thankless worldling. They take the gifts of heaven without lifting the heart and voice to God in sincere thanks. God has blessed them with comfortable homes. They lie down to rest in safety because of the guarding care of His ministering angels; but they arise in the morning with scarcely a thought of God. This is unlike the world’s Redeemer. Although He owned all things, He never broke bread without lifting His eyes and hands to heaven in thanks to His Father, craving His blessing upon it. Yet finite man, wholly dependent upon God, has no sense of the debt of gratitude he owes.” Ibid.

The thankless professor:

  • takes the gifts of heaven without lifting the heart and voice to God in sincere thanks
  • takes for granted that God has blessed them with comfortable homes and no thanks is given
  • lies down to rest in safety because of the guarding care of His ministering angels, but arises in the morning with scarcely a thought of God

Father: We are a thoughtless, thankless people. Please forgive us of our slothfulness. Replace these ugly characteristics with the thankful mind of our dear Saviour and Redeemer. Remove the whirlwind of the world from around us that we may focus our minds upon the most wonderful gifts and mercies you have bestowed upon each of us that we may always give praise and thanks for all. Amen.

Be Thankful – Good Medicine for the Troubled

There are many man-made formulas for peace of mind, but none is so effective as the command of God to be thankful. Paul in writing to the church at Colossae encouraged the believers with these words:

“Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” Colossians 3:15

Once a year in the United States the President sets aside a day for thanksgiving. He calls upon the people of the nation, as he did in a recent proclamation, to consider the “richness of our blessings,” “our bountiful harvests,” “our productivity of goods abundant,” and the privilege “to walk as free men unafraid.” Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, Harry S. Truman, 1948. It is good to remind ourselves of such things once a year. But it is far better to set a time each day to ponder the things for which we should be thankful.

The spirit of thankfulness is like a tonic. It causes one to lift his head, to walk more erect. It smooths the ruffled brow, and places a smile upon the countenance. “Nothing tends more to promote health of body and of soul than does a spirit of gratitude and praise.” The Ministry of Healing, 251.

Thus we are admonished by the prophet Samuel, “Consider how great things He hath done for you” (1 Samuel 12:24); and our hearts should respond as did the psalmist, “The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad” (Psalm 126:3).

Just the uttering of praise and thanks sends the blood coursing through one’s veins faster, cleansing out the impurities of the mind and the heart, and giving health to the bones.

Again we are told, “It is a positive duty to resist melancholy, discontented thoughts and feelings—as much a duty as it is to pray.” The Ministry of Healing, 251.

Certainly we have much to be troubled about, for there never was a time when so many demands were made upon us. Life becomes more and more complicated and uncertain every day. We seem to be hedged about by unpleasant events over which we have no control. We often feel disconcerted in the face of issues that must be settled without delay. How can we remain calm and collected in such a time as this?

The best way to do it is to have a background of confidence that we have an Almighty Helper at our side every moment, and that He will not permit any circumstance to overwhelm us. We need constantly to remind ourselves of this, and be thankful for it. This is what Paul meant when he wrote the words quoted before. Weymouth’s translation reads:

“Let the peace which Christ gives settle all questionings in your hearts, to which peace indeed you were called as belonging to His one Body; and be thankful” (Colossians 3:15, literal translation).

The consciousness that we are not alone in the daily conflict, that we belong to a body of people who are called to peace through Christ, tempers every trial and helps to settle all our questionings. This is one of the greatest blessings that the Christian way of life has to offer. We not only look forward to the day of salvation, when we shall be delivered wholly from earthly conflicts, but we are promised daily deliverances here and now. That is why Christ bade us pray, “Deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13). This freedom comes not by its removal, for this is impossible in an evil world, but by God making evil powerless over us, even as rain is repelled by a waterproof garment. We can then say with Paul, “None of these things move me” (Acts 20:24).

How thankful we should be for these spiritual blessings that moderate the trials of life. And the more we are thankful for them, the more they can do for us. Of this we read:

“It is for our own benefit to keep every gift of God fresh in our memory. Thus faith is strengthened to claim and to receive more and more. There is greater encouragement for us in the least blessing we ourselves receive from God than in all the accounts we can read of the faith and experience of others. The soul that responds to the grace of God shall be like a watered garden. His health shall spring forth speedily; his light shall rise in obscurity, and the glory of the Lord shall be seen upon him.” The Desire of Ages, 348.

When we think of our material blessings we may not have as much as some for which to be thankful. We may be poor in this world’s goods; we may have afflictions of the body and be restricted in our activities. It may seem, as we compare ourselves with others, that we have little to call forth thankfulness. But all have the same access to the storehouse of heaven, and we are only limited by our faith in laying hold of the spiritual blessings God so freely offers to all. If it is money you need, God can bless the little and make it sufficient. If it is health you need, God can give you the grace to endure the trial. There is no material need of man that some spiritual grace cannot match. Just take the key of faith and open God’s treasury, and there you will find all that is necessary for a life of happiness. Help yourself to the riches of joy and gladness stored up in Christ Jesus.

There are two ways to multiply our blessings. One is to recognize them. The other is to share them. This is an axiom of life in general, and of Christian life in particular. To let money lie idle often defeats one’s purpose. But to put it into circulation, and let it produce something useful to others, is the best way to increase one’s own benefits. This law of economics is recognized in the business world. It was recognized by Christ in the parable of the talents. The man who buried his one talent in the ground, thinking he would have wherewith to meet some future need, learned to his great regret that even that which he had felt was so secure was taken from him.

Exaggerated self-interest leads sooner or later either to poverty of material things or poverty of soul. What, then, should be the response of one to every blessing that is received? “Freely ye have received,” saith the Master, “freely give” (Matthew 10:8). And the psalmist asks, “What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits” (Psalm 116:12)? There is no peace for one who simply offers thanks for what he receives. He must likewise be glad for the opportunity to serve. To give is life; to stop giving is death. To Abraham, God said, “I will bless thee, … and thou shalt be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2). The one who stops being a blessing will soon lose the blessing.

There are too many people today talking about the Bill of Rights and forgetting the bill of responsibilities. We love our freedom to do as we wish. But does what we wish include the desire to be of some help to others? No nation, no people, no individual, would have any freedom at all if no consideration were given to human relationships.

Above all, spiritual life is absolutely dependent upon the act of sharing. One concerned only with his own salvation is doing the very thing that will keep him from receiving what he desires.

So let us be thankful for the faith that helps us lay hold upon the eternal riches, for the hope that keeps us patient until we fully realize all that God has promised, and for the love that prompts us to give thanks for blessings bestowed and leads us to share them with others. This is the way of peace to which we are called. Let us walk in it.

Thoughts of Peace, Frederick Lee, 1950, 24–27.

Reader’s comment: “This is a wonderful ‘nugget’ to help a person find true peace in this turbulent world that we live in. Even though it was written in 1950, it is very relevant to today. If you are struggling with finding peace, this book will be a great source of comfort and direction in finding it.”