From the Pastor's Desk April 2013

 

Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica, “In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess 5:18)  Are you thankful for all things? For many of us it is hard to be thankful in everything. Oh, it is easy to be thankful for the good things, like our family, or the blessings that God pours out upon us, or the sunshiny days and the things we ask for in prayer. What is hard is to be thankful for rainy days, for breakdowns and break-ups, for careless drivers or a bad meal served at your now less than favorite restaurant. How is it that we can cultivate a thankful heart for those situations that are less than pleasant?

Trust God. Paul said that everything that happens God allows (this is God’s will for you...) In Jeremiah the Lord says, “‘For I know the plans that I have for you, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer 29:11) While we have only the perspective of our limited experiences God has the perspective of eternity. And though bad things my happen, we can trust God because ultimately He is in control. He is Lord. Paul reminded us, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom 8:28) We can give thanks in all things because we trust God.

Remember that it is not about you. Oftentimes we fail to see what is happening around us. We don’t know what is going on in the life of that someone who treats you rudely or cut you off in traffic. When Jesus told us to “treat others the same way you want them to treat you,” (Luke 6:31) He did not mean only those who were nice to us. He said that we are to “love one another just as He loved us.”  We can learn to be thankful when we follow the example of Christ in loving others – even our enemies...something else that Jesus told us to do.

Ask Christ to give you a grateful heart. Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13) We may not be able to be thankful in everything on our own, but the Holy Spirit who lives in us can change our hearts so that we can be thankful.

My prayer is that you will allow the Lord to do His work in you so that no matter what you face, “men may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt 5:16) I am praying for you.  Bro. Keith

 

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