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Pastor’s Column 11/20/2022

 

 

PASTOR’S COLUMN

 

“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for all who belong to Christ Jesus.”        I Thess. 5:18, NLT

                                           

“Thankful, Regardless!”


Throughout life there are times when circumstances can bring difficulty. We can’t always predict challenges we are forced to encounter, but there is a constant that Christians should live with. In addressing the pernicious situations the Christians in Thessalonica experienced, the Apostle Paul confidently urged them to “stay the course.” They were to find a reason to persevere and not give up. Perhaps surprisingly to some, Paul encouraged Christians to “Be thankful in all circumstances…” We might even ask in our moments of trial and disappointment, “Is there any reason to be grateful in a time such as this?” This is a fair question, which requires an honest answer. Looking carefully at the intended message in I Thessalonians 5:18, we must first look at what Paul did not say. The Apostle did not say, “Be thankful with all circumstances.” Considering the Greek construction of the admonition, Paul says, “In all circumstances, be thankful.” This means, while there are many things in life, we can’t be comfortable with; regardless of those circumstances, we can be thankful that God has a greater purpose on the other side of our present situation. We note that Paul adds to this urging, that God has a purpose (His will and plan) for our ability to navigate our circumstances. We can be thankful in our circumstances that God is working things out for our good. Elsewhere Paul said, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28, NLT) After having over a dozen eye surgeries, I lamented to a mentor-retired pastor that my visual acuity had greatly . With great care and compassion, he reminded me that the old Apostle Paul did “more” for Christ with a thorn in the flesh, than he did without it. And, he was always thankful!

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