I enjoy contemporary worship music, but sometimes I need to hear a good old-fashioned hymn.
This week of Thanksgiving, I want to focus on giving thanks. Yet sometimes, life’s circumstances attempt to inhibit my heart from giving thanks to God. When that happens, I seek the Lord to help change my perspective.
At the age of 31, Martin Rinkart was called to pastor the state Lutheran church in Eilenberg, Germany. This call coincided with the 30 Years War of 1618-1648. According to historical documents, the war yielded some of the most severe sufferings imaginable. The conflict between the Catholic and Protestant forces from European countries significantly decreased the German population from 16 million to 6 million.
Eilenberg became an over-crowded city of refuge for refugees. During these years diseases and famine decimated these inhabitants. In the climax of this war, plague and famine, Rinkart was the only surviving minister in Elienberg. He performed the work of three men and buried more than 4000 people. In the midst of this suffering, the Swedes levied an exorbitant tribute. Rinkart pleaded for mercy, but it was denied. He turned to the citizens and stated, “Come, my children, we can find no hearing, no mercy with men, let us take refuge with God.”
Rinkart prayed with such earnest fervor, the Swedish general reduced his demand. Rinkart’s personal losses were significant, yet his spirit was never broken. His life displayed a triumphant attitude, gratitude and confidence in God for all of us to know that we too can be “more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
Therefore, I realize this morning that my issues pale in comparison to Rinkart’s. I have so many blessed reasons to give thanks to God by His grace through Jesus Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit. I can give thanks!
God wants us to be victors and not the victims of life. With His presence we can overcome and not be overwhelmed. Carry this musical truth with you-- 
Engrafted by His Grace--