FROM PASTOR MIKE’S DESK:
Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
As I sit here staring at a blank document on my computer wondering, “What am I going to write about for the November Newsletter?”, I thought, since no new and original idea was coming to mind, I should go back and look what I have sent to our youth in their newsletter over the years. I came across one I sent to the Junior High Youth back in November of 2018 which I think is still applicable to all of us today. So with some modifications, I present to you that newsletter article …
November is a month where people tend to list out the things we are thankful for, (it’s probably because of that one holiday called “Thanksgiving”). Some even will list something each and every day on Facebook (which is not something you will find me doing). Don’t get me wrong, it is good to be thankful, and I am thankful for many different things … I just don’t need the whole Facebook world to know it. Besides, a lot of times the things listed after family and friends are all material things which will eventually break and get replaced. Okay, I’m done venting now.
Don’t take me as being the Scrooge or the Grinch of Thanksgiving, it is good to be thankful. The Bible even tells us that. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Wait a second! Look at the verse again! Did you notice what that verse says? “Give thanks in ALL circumstances.” So … does this mean I have to give thanks in those times when life isn’t going like I planned it or when something bad happens? Hate to be the bearer of bad news but … yup, that is exactly what it means.
We all know that bad things are going to happen. People will get sick, things will break or be stolen, feelings will be hurt by those we call our friends, and relationships are going to go through tough times and may even lead to a break-up. It may be hard to see these as times to give thanks … but they are.
AND HERE’S WHY …
Notice the word before that bold, italicized, and underlined all? What is it? It’s the word in. We are told to give thanks in all circumstances, not for all circumstances. The evil, the bad things of life do not come from God, those are a result of sin being in the world. This is why we are not thankful for all circumstances. We are thankful in all circumstances because no matter what we are facing in life … God is still in control and God’s presence is still with you. This means that His love, His mercy, His compassion, and all the other wonderful things God is and does are still with you. They are with you because you are His dearly loved child. And to prove that, God sent Jesus, His only Son, so that anyone who believes in Him may have eternal life.
So in this month of reflection on what it is we are thankful for … the thing I’m most thankful for is this … the precious blood shed by Jesus and His victorious resurrection! For it is through this that you are claimed as one of His dear children. I’m thankful that God continues to go with you wherever it is that you go. It is my constant prayer that no matter what you experience in your life, that you remember that He is there with you and that can you lean on Him all the time.
From my family to yours, may you have a blessed and thankful Thanksgiving!