Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Through the month of November, we have celebrated, appreciated, and prayed for our active-duty military, our veterans, and the spouses, children and family members that have served and sacrificed with them on our behalf. For all of you, we give thanks.
And now, as we approach this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I’m reminded of the heart of thanks and the attitude of gratitude of the Apostle Paul. If there was anyone that had a right to complain about his circumstances, it was certainly him.
In his second letter to the church in Corinth, Paul shares his experiences: “From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.” He wasn’t bragging, but bearing his soul to them, so that no matter what these early believers faced, no matter how difficult their circumstances, he wanted them to embrace God’s will for their lives in Christ Jesus. Paul understood the sovereignty of God in ALL circumstances, and he wanted them, and us, to keep this in mind as we walk through this life.
Some may be thinking about the difficult situations that they are facing right now and asking God to deliver them. He IS our DELIVERER. Some may be wondering how they are going to pay their bills. He IS our PROVIDER. Some may be battling disease or depression. He IS our HEALER. Some have lost, or are in the process of losing, those they love. He IS the RESURRECTION AND LIFE. We never discount hardships and pain, but like Paul, we acknowledge the struggles, and by faith we cry out to the ONLY ONE who can save us from all these things. He IS our SAVIOR.
As we move into this Thanksgiving season let’s reflect on God’s will for us. Let’s ponder what we can REJOICE in, what we see that we need to PRAY about, and finally what we can GIVE THANKS for. Let’s spend this Holiday season right in the center of His will.
Let’s pray: Father God, we come to you and REJOICE in the truth that You are God ALMIGHTY. That You are “ABLE to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us”. We PRAY effectively and fervently without ceasing for our needs, our struggles, our loved ones, our pain, and for “Your will to be done.” We GIVE THANKS in ALL things, and we stand in the truth of Romans 8:28, knowing [with great confidence] “that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.” We ask all of this in the wonderful, powerful, matchless, name of Jesus. Amen.
Your fellow workman,
National Day of Prayer Task Force