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August 2020 Newsletter

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Excerpt from Pastor Parsons' article: Give Thanks in All Circumstances

 

Give Thanks in All Circumstances


“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you
in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

These words are part of Paul’s closing to his first letter to the Thessalonian church. They serve as a
reminder of the many blessings we receive from our Lord, not the least of which is the forgiveness and salvation we have through faith in Christ Jesus. That faith, that knowledge, that trust, gives us cause to rejoice always and give thanks in all circumstances.

And though this may be what you hope to do, it seems difficult at times to find reasons to rejoice and
give thanks. Every day, there are so many reasons we could fall back on and use as excuses not to find joy. What about this great illness sweeping the nation? Or that jerk who makes your blood boil every time he talks to you?

Some of you have lasting illnesses or pain. Many of you have friends or family that have fallen away
from faith; for some of you, it’s your own children. How can we rejoice and give thanks in these circumstances? Though all of these things affect us in different ways, they serve part of the same goal: to hinder our trust in Jesus. I’ve used this picture a few times in Bible study, and it applies perfectly here. The more and more we focus on the difficulties in our lives, the harder and harder it is to see Jesus.

You -> PROBLEM -> Jesus

God knows that we struggle. He knows our lives are hard sometimes, and without trying to minimize
the importance and impact of these troubles in our lives, God wants us to know there is something far greater than they. In the passage above, Paul wrote, “Give thanks in all circumstances.” He did NOT write, “FOR all circumstances.” Yes, it’s true that God can, and does, bring about blessings through even the darkest events in our lives. In that case, we can give thanks, even for the trouble itself. But what Paul wants us to realize here is that no matter what our problem or trouble is, there is something that overshadows it, something for which we can always give thanks in every circumstance. That is the salvation we have in Jesus.

You -> JESUS -> problem

When we focus on the immense blessing we have as children of God, as heirs of salvation, it gives us
peace and hope in even the most trying times. May God help us always to keep that in the proper focus so that our faith might sustain us in all circumstances, moving us to rejoice always in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will
guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7) Amen

In Christian love,
Pastor Wolf B. Parsons

Read 0 times Last modified on Monday, 19 October 2020 12:53

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