A man can only receive what is given him from heaven.-John 3:27b
One of many reminders in scripture that our salvation is a product of God's gracious giving.
But then again, what isn't? I'm sure you've compiled this list in your head: our very lives, our breath, our bodies, our health, loving families, jobs (even if we sometimes hate them), friends, a place to worship with like-minded believers. We praise and thank God for these gifts, as we call out to him daily in our prayers.
There are other gifts. Some of these are so hard to be thankful for:
trials, temptations, conflict within the family and within the Body of Christ, seasons of spiritual dryness. We are to be thankful for these gifts(?) as well.
I am thankful for the gift of the Holy Spirit to enable me to render thanks.
Here is a thing. I struggle with sin and I am reminded: what hatred of sin I have is a gift; what ability I have to resist it is a gift. I heed the call to mortify sin and I grow discouraged. My Enemy is strong and very subtle.
Then I am reminded that the One that is within me is stronger than the one that is in the world. It's as though Christ were saying, "Get over yourself! Victory is mine. I have defeated sin and the devil. Now this righteousness of mine I give to you. I have declared you righteous. It's a gift. Get it?"
Help me, O LORD to remember what I have and where I got it.
For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? -1 Corinthians 4:7a