Give Thanks in All Circumstances
First of all, I would like to say that our CityTeam food drive was a great success! Thank you to everyone who donated and those who helped organize the food drive. Not only did we fill up the ten barrels we had, but the overflow filled up an additional four barrels. Last week’s chapel speaker was a CityTeam success story. Scott spoke about how CityTeam provided food and shelter for him when he was homeless, but more importantly, he shared how CityTeam shared the gospel with him and changed his life forever. CityTeam is an excellent example of the gospel in action, and we are grateful for the opportunity to have a small part in assisting them with their ministry in our local community.
This week we celebrate Thanksgiving, a time we traditionally set aside to fellowship with family and friends, indulge in delicious food and to focus on what we are thankful for. While the country at large may focus on thankfulness one time a year, Christians recognize that a spirit of gratitude should pervade our daily lives all year long. As fallible humans, however, it is not always easy to keep a thankful heart when our circumstances seem to demand a negative response from us.
Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to “give thanks in all circumstances,” not some circumstances or most circumstances, but all circumstances. It would seem that God is asking of us the impossible. How does one give thanks in the worst possible circumstances? It is most definitely not easy, but it is possible. I am not suggesting that we have to be thankful for the bad things themselves, but we can be thankful for what God has done and will do in our lives despite the bad things. Our God heals broken people and redeems sinful situations and gives to those who mourn beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61:3).
We live in a fallen, broken world. Very bad and evil things happen to very good and righteous people, and it seems very unfair. Why do some seem to suffer so much and others hardly at all? I do not have an answer for that, and we will likely not know this side of heaven why God allows certain things to happen to certain people. One thing we rest assured of is that our Heavenly Father loves us with an everlasting love. He is working everything in our lives for our good and His glory, and His will for us is to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances” (Thessalonians 5:18).
As you enjoy the remaining days of holiday weekend, and while we celebrate the improved air quality in the bay area, please join me in continuing to pray for those devastated by the fire north of us. May each person see the Gospel lived out through our prayers and actions.