Gratitude … From a Man of Privilege

I am a person of privilege, and as such, I need not be bashful or dismissive.

Now, please allow me to make a couple things clear.

  • All of us — sinners still breathing — are receiving privileges from the Lord.
  • All believers — found in Christ — are receiving special privileges from our Father.
  • None of us are privileged by our Sovereign God in the same way.
  • All of us have had many privileges which include joy, smiles, pain, and sorrow.
  • None of us deserve any of the privileges we have had or are currently enjoying.
  • All of us have spurned and wrongly used the various privileges sent our way.

However, these thoughts being clearly stated, there is no doubt I have received a host of privileges. And today, this “Man of Privilege,” desires to give humble praise to God for his many benefits.

photo-1464660756002-dd9f9a92b01b1. I have been born in the United States of America — land that I love. It has been a nation providentially blessed by God, and in turn it has been a great blessing to the world. In no way is it a perfect and holy nation. It is filled with sinful citizens who do unwise and harmful things. However, it has enjoyed a fantastic ride, and I do not take either my Father’s providence nor my forefathers’ worship, moral compass, and sacrifice lightly. I am a proud patriot and passionate worshiper. Therefore, I join many others today in giving thanks for the land of my birth.

2. I have been saved. God sent his only begotten Son. Then God arrested my attention, transformed my will, motivated me to have faith and repentance, and I was born again. The Son dressed me in his righteousness. He took my sentence of sin. And because of God’s gracious performance, I am reconciled to God, filled with the Spirit, and made perfect in Christ.

3. I have been graciously protected from my many sinful choices. Over and over again I have spurned God’s will. I have deserved and deserve harsher consequences from the Judge. My scars should be huge. Had I received strict justice from the ever-watching Lord, I should have persisted and been found in hell. However, the longsuffering common-grace of God has been rich towards me. I am grateful I have not reaped that which I have sown.

4. I have sins, failings, weaknesses, thorns, consequences, and scars which have been used by my Sovereign Lord to shape me for his service. While these are not delightful, and while these are not desirable, they have been determined for the glory of my God, the good of his church, and my own benefit. Therefore, for these hard experiences, I too give thanks.

5. I have been granted a fantastic family. I was born to parents who loved, served, sacrificed, and modeled Christ before my eyes. I have a brother who has consistently been gracious and godly. Then God gave me a phenomenal wife. Atop all this, I have been granted children (and a daughter-in-law) who are following Jesus. More than anyone, they know the truth, “I am not the Christ.” However, despite my foolish legalism and personal failings, they have chosen to walk on as Christ’s disciples. What else could a father desire?

IMG_12216. I have been granted a great measure of true friends. For these individuals, I need not perform. They know my weak points. They know some of my sins. They are quite often irked and troubled by me. Yet, they have chosen to shower me with the grace of Christ, and they are spiritual family.

7. I have been given more than my fair-share of health, wealth, and prosperity. While it is true that God gives and takes away, and while it is true that God blesses with sickness and poverty, I am thankful for his bountiful provision in my life. I will not spurn the Lord’s kind and enjoyable handouts.

5C3B6A04-C273-4841-A352-DEEA964DAE978. I have been used of Christ. Despite my being too much like pragmatic Abraham, impulsive Moses, unfaithful David, and rebellious Jonah, Christ has chosen to shine his light through me. A wife has been loved, children have been raised, neighbors have been served, worshipers have been encouraged, the lost have been found, the backslidden have been revived, and God has been glorified. All of this is Christ’s doing, and all of this is thrilling.

9. I have a God who is sovereign over all planets, environments, nations, governors, viruses, and people. My scriptures tell me he …

  • Exists above and beyond time
  • Sees the past, present, and future with the same glance
  • Sets forth his plan for all humanity before the beginning of time
  • Foreordains whatsoever comes to pass
  • Providentially brings about — immediately or mediately — that which he has foreknown
  • Is never gambling
  • Is never wrong
  • Is never surprised
  • Is never learning
  • Is never frustrated
  • Is never operating on Plan B

His all-knowing mind is brilliant. His all-seeing eye is diligent. His all-powerful hand is active. His never-changing affection is assured. I know not what will happen to my planet, my culture, my rights, my health, my family, my finances, my church, and my beloved United States of America, but I know my Father loves me, cares for me, and is perfectly in control.

10.  I have a God who will one day will bring me home. The New Heavens and New Earth will be fantastic. No more sickness, pain, sorrow, and death. No more sin! Forever I will be with my Christian family, and we will be with the Lord. It will be paradise found. It will be utopia realized. And on that day, I will know — even more than today — how privileged I am.

Happy Independence Day!

Joe Franks



** Now, if you so desire, why don’t you come up with your own list of 10 privileges for which to be thankful and share them in the comments section below.

4 thoughts on “Gratitude … From a Man of Privilege

  1. I thank God for:
    1. Knowing Jesus as my savior, being predestined to be His
    2. Being born in the USA
    3. Being born to a Puerto Rican family Rich in culture
    4. Having loving parents who provided for us
    5. Having a healthy hardworking generous thoughtful husband
    6. Having healthy sweet and sassy children who we are raising to Trust and believe in Jesus
    7. Having a flexible career that allows me to work from home
    8. Having God’s common grace over me
    9. A wonderful bible believing church and friends
    10. Shelter – A home to roam, Full pantry, clothing beyond what we deserve.

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